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The US Department of Justice has begun the first stages of an inquiry into Apple’s decision to release software updates that slow down older iPhone models, reported Bloomberg News Tuesday afternoon. According to the report, “people familiar with the matter” said the DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission have both requested information from Apple.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Back in December, Apple admitted that it recently released a feature for the iPhone 6, 6S, SE, and 7 that slowed down the iPhone’s processor when it sensed a decayed battery. In subsequent statements, the company suggested it did this to prevent iPhones from malfunctioning or shutting down.
Tuesday’s report comes during a difficult month for the company. In response to harsh criticism from users and the media, Apple offered users a discount on replacement batteries, selling them for $29. But the company came under fire again after reporting that the replacement batteries were backlogged and wouldn’t arrive for users until late March or early April. Similarly, a report in Axios this week suggests that Apple will be delaying iOS updates due to performance and reliability issues.
The news about the DOJ inquiry also comes just one day before Apple will report its earnings and, according to reports, is expected to announce curtailed production for the iPhone X due to lower-than-expected demand.