Apple confirms government agencies are investigating CPU throttling

Feds have questions about iPhone throttling. Apple has answers.


iphone battery
Apple will replace your battery for just $29.
Photo: iFixit

Apple says it is cooperating with U.S. government agencies investigating the company’s decision to throttle CPU speeds on iPhones with older batteries.

The official statement from Apple this morning comes a day after news broke that the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether Apple broke any securities laws.

In December of 2017, it was discovered that Apple intentionally lowers the processing speed on iPhones with older batteries to prevent unwanted crashes. Customers in numerous countries filed lawsuits against the iPhone-maker. In its statement today, the company confirmed it’s working with government agencies.

“We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them,” said Apple in its response. The company didn’t divulge which agencies are looking into the matter.

Apple apologized to customers for not being more transparent about the update it made to iOS last year.

This spring, iOS 11.3 will bring new battery health features and the option to turn off the throttling. Customers can also get their iPhone batteries replaced for $29 throughout all of 2018.

Read Apple’s full response:

About a year ago, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain iPhones with older batteries. We know that iPhones have become an important part of the daily lives of our customers and our intention was to improve the customer experience.

We sought to further improve the customer experience in December by announcing a significant discount on replacement batteries for certain iPhones. We also announced that we began developing a new iOS feature to show battery health and which would recommend when the user should consider replacing their battery. These actions were taken to further assist our customers and help extend the life of their iPhones. In addition, users will be able to see if the power management feature is being used to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and turn if off if they so choose. These features will be included in a developer release next month and a user release this Spring.

As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.