SHEET PHOTO: A man takes photos of iPhones at his newly opened Apple flagship store after the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sanlitun in Beijing, China, 17 July, 2020. REUTERS / Thomas Peter / File Photo
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Arizona is conducting a multi-state state probe into whether Apple Inc.’s deliberate downsizing of older iPhones violated deceptive business practice laws, documents reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday revealed.
Last week, a separate document released by a group of tech watchdogs revealed that the Texas attorney general could sue Apple for such violations in connection with a multi-state probe, without specifying the accusations.
In a probe running at least in October 2018, investigators asked Apple for data on an “unexpected shutdown” of iPhones and the company’s throttling, or slowing down, of the devices through power management software, documents that Reuters obtained through a request for public records showed.
Attorneys general offices in Arizona and Texas declined to comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple came under fire in 2017 when Primate Labs, the maker of software for measuring phone processor speeds, revealed that some iPhones have become slower as they get older.
Apple later acknowledged that it reduced power demands – which could slow down the processor – when an aging phone battery struggles to provide the best power the processor demands. Apple said that without its adjustments, iPhones would be shut down unexpectedly by power spikes.
Submerged iPhone users said they seemed to confirm suspicions that Apple has slowed the pace of older devices to encourage users to buy new phones. Apple has publicly apologized and lowered prices on battery replacements.
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to pay up to $ 500 million to settle a proposed class action lawsuit related to battery issues.
Reporting by Paresh Dave and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Edited by Greg Mitchell and Richard Chang