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Apple faces questions from senator over iPhone slowdown

14:20, Thursday, 11 January, 2018
Apple faces questions from senator over iPhone slowdown

Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, on Tuesday sent Apple a letter with questions about a software update that helped prevent unexpected battery shutdowns in older iPhone models but reduced their speed, according to multiple media outlets that have read the yet-to-be-released letter.

Thune’s inquiry came hours after news that an anti-fraud watchdog agency in France began an investigation last week into whether Apple committed “planned obsolescence,” or deliberately slowing down iPhones to pressure consumers to upgrade. Planned obsolescence is illegal in France, and if found guilty, Apple faces hefty fines and its employees possible jail terms.

Thune, who heads the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook that regardless of intention, the lack of transparency by the company was a reason for his questioning.

“However, even if Apple’s actions were indeed only intended to avoid unexpected shutdowns on older phones, the large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency with respect to these practices,” wrote Thune, according to Recode.

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