US DOJ, SEC investigating how Apple handled throttling of aging iPhone batteries

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 39
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,362member
    Wouldn't this be better investigated under the Federal Trade Commission?

    https://www.ftc.gov

    Edit;

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/371426-doj-sec-investigating-apple-over-updates-that-slow-older-iphones-report

    "The investigation reportedly centers around whether the company violated securities laws concerning the disclosure of the effects of the software update to consumers and investors."

    Seems a stretch.




    edited January 2018
  • Reply 22 of 39
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,075member
    tmay said:
    Wouldn't this be better investigated under the Federal Trade Commission?

    https://www.ftc.gov

    Edit;

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/371426-doj-sec-investigating-apple-over-updates-that-slow-older-iphones-report

    "The investigation reportedly centers around whether the company violated securities laws concerning the disclosure of the effects of the software update to consumers and investors."

    Seems a stretch.




    I thought it was just insurance fraud.

    Apple better get better lawyers on staff or atom will be conserving his time in the pen before Apple gets their money from Samsung.

    They also need to hire someone good to handle their PR now.   I recommend Mike McCurry from the Clinton Admin.   They also need a veteran Former Republican congressman or Senator to deal with congressional investigations.

    I hope Scott Forestall can comeback and replace Cook.; otherwisebApple could end up with a Al Gore or Carla Fiorino or worse Eddy Cue in Charge.



  • Reply 23 of 39
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 283member
    JWSC said:
    I would love to know precisely who is driving this agenda.  Apple has explained why they did this and it’s arguement was most compelling, if unfortunately belated.  Is this political theatre on the part of various government agencies or is something more sinister going on?
    The timing of the explanation matters. They only explained after it was discovered. Warning users before updating would've been the way to go. Let them make the decision of updating or not. I mean iPhone users are supposedly more intelligent, so why does Apple treat them like idiots? 

    I think that Apple made nuanced statements about the iOS 10.2.1 update. I understand that people wanted Apple to be more direct but it wasn’t as if they said nothing. 

    * From a Tech Crunch article posted Feb 23, 2017;

    "Over the past couple of iPhone versions users have complained of “unexpected” shutdowns of their devices. Some iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus devices could basically go dark unexpectedly, forcing a user to have to plug them into an outlet to get them to power back on.

    Apple has been working on this very annoying bug…

    Here is the comment they provided to TechCrunch today:

    ...'We also added the ability for the phone to restart without needing to connect to power, if a user still encounters an unexpected shutdown. It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare.'"

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/23/apple-says-ios-10-2-1-has-reduced-unexpected-iphone-6s-shutdown-issues-by-80/

    * In addition to the information given to Tech Crunch by Apple, there was a brief note in the Apple Knowledge Base about 10.2.1.

    It's mentioned in this recent article. 

    https://www.macobserver.com/news/tim-cook-iphone-battery-fix-details/

    Also, the article links to an archive of Apple Knowledge Base notes snapshot from March 17, 2017, and there haven’t been any changes.

    A quote from the KB notes about 10.2.1;

    "iOS 10.2.1 includes bug fixes and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad.

    It also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone."

    http://web.archive.org/web/20170317201937/https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1893?locale=en_US

    The Tech Crunch article from 2/23/17 mentioned above also discussed this.  

    "Whatever tweaks Apple made to its power management system have enabled them to reduce the shutdowns heavily..."

    * I think that Apple's position was that power management could also refer to phone performance.

    edited January 2018 tmay
  • Reply 24 of 39
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,362member
    k2kw said:
    tmay said:
    Wouldn't this be better investigated under the Federal Trade Commission?

    https://www.ftc.gov

    Edit;

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/371426-doj-sec-investigating-apple-over-updates-that-slow-older-iphones-report

    "The investigation reportedly centers around whether the company violated securities laws concerning the disclosure of the effects of the software update to consumers and investors."

    Seems a stretch.




    I thought it was just insurance fraud.

    Apple better get better lawyers on staff or atom will be conserving his time in the pen before Apple gets their money from Samsung.

    They also need to hire someone good to handle their PR now.   I recommend Mike McCurry from the Clinton Admin.   They also need a veteran Former Republican congressman or Senator to deal with congressional investigations.

    I hope Scott Forestall can comeback and replace Cook.; otherwisebApple could end up with a Al Gore or Carla Fiorino or worse Eddy Cue in Charge.



    I gave you the link for the FTC. What does the link say?
    Hint: FTC is not just about insurance fraud.

    So I'll assume that the rest of your post is as ill informed
  • Reply 25 of 39
    JWSC said:
    I would love to know precisely who is driving this agenda.  Apple has explained why they did this and it’s arguement was most compelling, if unfortunately belated.  Is this political theatre on the part of various government agencies or is something more sinister going on?
    It could be complaints from customers who, prior to Apple's announcement, had their battery replaced and paid $79. If it was before December of last year, they won't refund the $50. 

    You will see a congressional hearing on the matter because now that Apple has/is repatriating a huge chunk of cash, some senators will make this problem "go away" for a $mall reelection contribution. 


  • Reply 26 of 39
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,075member
    tmay said:
    k2kw said:
    tmay said:
    Wouldn't this be better investigated under the Federal Trade Commission?

    https://www.ftc.gov

    Edit;

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/371426-doj-sec-investigating-apple-over-updates-that-slow-older-iphones-report

    "The investigation reportedly centers around whether the company violated securities laws concerning the disclosure of the effects of the software update to consumers and investors."

    Seems a stretch.




    I thought it was just insurance fraud.

    Apple better get better lawyers on staff or atom will be conserving his time in the pen before Apple gets their money from Samsung.

    They also need to hire someone good to handle their PR now.   I recommend Mike McCurry from the Clinton Admin.   They also need a veteran Former Republican congressman or Senator to deal with congressional investigations.

    I hope Scott Forestall can comeback and replace Cook.; otherwisebApple could end up with a Al Gore or Carla Fiorino or worse Eddy Cue in Charge.



    I gave you the link for the FTC. What does the link say?
    Hint: FTC is not just about insurance fraud.

    So I'll assume that the rest of your post is as ill informed
    1.  I don't give a rat's behind about the FTC.   It has basically nothing to do with insurance.   So let me give you a little eduction. Insurance is primarily regulated on the state level. and Warrentee's are often included as an insurance product.   Thats why when you go to Apple's webpage on Applecare:
    https://www.apple.com/legal/sales-support/applecare/applecareplus/docs/applecareplusnaen.html
    You will see sentences like this:


    In the event you do not receive satisfaction under this contract, you may contact the New Hampshire insurance department, by mail at State of New Hampshire Insurance Department, 21 South Fruit Street, Suite 14, Concord NH 03301, or by telephone, via Consumer Assistance, at 800-852-3416.

    or

    You may address any unresolved complaints or Plan regulation questions to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 100105, Columbia, South Carolina 29202-3105, Tel: 1-800-768-3467.

    or
    Wisconsin Residents. If you purchased the Plan in this state, this term applies to the Plan:

    THIS WARRANTY IS SUBJECT TO LIMITED REGULATION BY THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE.


    Some state govern warrantees through their department/office of consumer affairs.


    2.  Cook better get out in front of this instead of just trying to sweep it under the rug.   Congress is full of Prima-Donnas .   Apple shouldn't irritate them and are better off stroking their ego's just so that some Committee don't decide to publicly roast Apple Management.


    3.    Only half joking about Forestal.   But you never know.   But if talking pooh is the best apple software can come up with then I'm not surprised by the bugs and delays we have seen from them.



  • Reply 27 of 39
    dayedaye Posts: 18member
    What does this to do with " Securities Laws" ? 
  • Reply 28 of 39
    Rayz2016 said:
    launfall said:
    launfall said:
    I don't for a minute think that Apple was trying to make obsolete their older iPhones. What I do believe is that Apple still suffers from the same hubris that has plagued the company since it's creation. You don't deliberately create a problem for a customer's phone because you think it's good for them.  You spell out what the update does in highly visible plain English and provide them with the means to disable the modification. Over the years I have spent well over $100,000 on Apple products, starting with the 2GS, and it has infuriated me that Apple, seemingly on a whim, will remove a product feature, only to restore it when the shit hits the fan. This "we know what's best for you" hubris is in the DNA of Apple, put there by Jobs and perpetuated by Cook.  Hopefully this slap in the face, and shareholder wrath, will wake Cook up and Apple will be a better company for it.  They deserve the opprobrium they are currently receiving and you can lay that squarely at Cook's doorstep. A CEO's job is to NOT devalue the company, and he has done just that.
    Yeah no. All of your description is misunderstanding what design is — compromise. Apple makes the most popular mass market CE products on the planet, and has to make design decisions and compromises just like any place else. They don’t make the products just for you. They make them for the market and yes, must decide what’s best for that market. They get it right much more than they get it wrong — as proof just look at their numbers, people vote with their wallets. Over and over. 

    Your opinions on Cook devaluing the company are peculiar considering its revenue and cash horde. I think Thursday’s earnings call will make this claim look absurd. 
    You missed the point of my comment. Regardless of Apple’s intent, the effect was to force an undisclosed update on a user without describing the very real consequences or offering an alternative. That’s not just bad PR, that’s bad business decisions. The unintentional consequences are that the effect on the user can be construed as deliberate sabotage of the phone in order to sell new phones. That Apple did not foresee that there could be real and very negative reactions to this is why I believe management has failed. Implying nefarious motives to a company’s actions is universal and we have all felt that way about a company at some time. It’s not at all surprising that governments react as they do when people who use a product feel betrayed. None of this would have happened had Apple not sustained the culture that they know best. This is ample proof that they didn’t. 
    I think the mistake Apple made here was overestimating the intelligence of the most vocal sections of their user base. It’s a mistake they make time and time again. 


    Very well put!

  • Reply 29 of 39
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,337member
    Rayz2016 said:
    launfall said:
    launfall said:
    I don't for a minute think that Apple was trying to make obsolete their older iPhones. What I do believe is that Apple still suffers from the same hubris that has plagued the company since it's creation. You don't deliberately create a problem for a customer's phone because you think it's good for them.  You spell out what the update does in highly visible plain English and provide them with the means to disable the modification. Over the years I have spent well over $100,000 on Apple products, starting with the 2GS, and it has infuriated me that Apple, seemingly on a whim, will remove a product feature, only to restore it when the shit hits the fan. This "we know what's best for you" hubris is in the DNA of Apple, put there by Jobs and perpetuated by Cook.  Hopefully this slap in the face, and shareholder wrath, will wake Cook up and Apple will be a better company for it.  They deserve the opprobrium they are currently receiving and you can lay that squarely at Cook's doorstep. A CEO's job is to NOT devalue the company, and he has done just that.
    Yeah no. All of your description is misunderstanding what design is — compromise. Apple makes the most popular mass market CE products on the planet, and has to make design decisions and compromises just like any place else. They don’t make the products just for you. They make them for the market and yes, must decide what’s best for that market. They get it right much more than they get it wrong — as proof just look at their numbers, people vote with their wallets. Over and over. 

    Your opinions on Cook devaluing the company are peculiar considering its revenue and cash horde. I think Thursday’s earnings call will make this claim look absurd. 
    You missed the point of my comment. Regardless of Apple’s intent, the effect was to force an undisclosed update on a user without describing the very real consequences or offering an alternative. That’s not just bad PR, that’s bad business decisions. The unintentional consequences are that the effect on the user can be construed as deliberate sabotage of the phone in order to sell new phones. That Apple did not foresee that there could be real and very negative reactions to this is why I believe management has failed. Implying nefarious motives to a company’s actions is universal and we have all felt that way about a company at some time. It’s not at all surprising that governments react as they do when people who use a product feel betrayed. None of this would have happened had Apple not sustained the culture that they know best. This is ample proof that they didn’t. 
    I think the mistake Apple made here was overestimating the intelligence of the most vocal sections of their user base. It’s a mistake they make time and time again. 
    Amen.  
  • Reply 30 of 39
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,868administrator
    tmay said:
    Wouldn't this be better investigated under the Federal Trade Commission?

    https://www.ftc.gov

    Edit;

    http://thehill.com/policy/technology/371426-doj-sec-investigating-apple-over-updates-that-slow-older-iphones-report

    "The investigation reportedly centers around whether the company violated securities laws concerning the disclosure of the effects of the software update to consumers and investors."

    Seems a stretch.




    Literally the FIRST LINE of the story at AI mentions the securities law-centric questions.

    "The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are reportedly starting to look into if Apple violated securities laws, regarding how it informed consumers about the iOS update that implemented the throttling of chemically depleted batteries in iOS 10.2.1."
  • Reply 31 of 39
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,303member
    launfall said:
    I don't for a minute think that Apple was trying to make obsolete their older iPhones. What I do believe is that Apple still suffers from the same hubris that has plagued the company since it's creation. You don't deliberately create a problem for a customer's phone because you think it's good for them.  You spell out what the update does in highly visible plain English and provide them with the means to disable the modification. Over the years I have spent well over $100,000 on Apple products, starting with the 2GS, and it has infuriated me that Apple, seemingly on a whim, will remove a product feature, only to restore it when the shit hits the fan. This "we know what's best for you" hubris is in the DNA of Apple, put there by Jobs and perpetuated by Cook.  Hopefully this slap in the face, and shareholder wrath, will wake Cook up and Apple will be a better company for it.  They deserve the opprobrium they are currently receiving and you can lay that squarely at Cook's doorstep. A CEO's job is to NOT devalue the company, and he has done just that.
    just out of curiosity, did you submit a long comment on a different site about the “hubris” of Equifax covering up a massive data leak from a hack, and before it was disclosed having executives sell thousands of stock options?

    i thought not.  i love the first world outrage directed against Apple when real corporate sins are being committed day in and day out.

    if you want a static consumer computing experience buy a Dell.
  • Reply 32 of 39
    launfall said:
    I don't for a minute think that Apple was trying to make obsolete their older iPhones. What I do believe is that Apple still suffers from the same hubris that has plagued the company since it's creation. You don't deliberately create a problem for a customer's phone because you think it's good for them.  You spell out what the update does in highly visible plain English and provide them with the means to disable the modification. Over the years I have spent well over $100,000 on Apple products, starting with the 2GS, and it has infuriated me that Apple, seemingly on a whim, will remove a product feature, only to restore it when the shit hits the fan. This "we know what's best for you" hubris is in the DNA of Apple, put there by Jobs and perpetuated by Cook.  Hopefully this slap in the face, and shareholder wrath, will wake Cook up and Apple will be a better company for it.  They deserve the opprobrium they are currently receiving and you can lay that squarely at Cook's doorstep. A CEO's job is to NOT devalue the company, and he has done just that.
    OK I promised we'd check back after today's quarterly earnings call -- and we see Apple just had it's biggest, most profitable quarter ever in history. Which is also the best for any public company on earth, I believe. 

    So explain again how Cook is devaluing the company? By which metrics are you using...you know, as a shareholder.
  • Reply 33 of 39
    Someone just suggested to me that this "batterygate" is not fundamentally different to VW Dieselgate. I'm finding it hard to argue.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 34 of 39
    Apple did nothing wrong. In fact, they did the right thing. But I'm not surprised that people without technical backgrounds do not understand that.

    The people/media/politicians complaining about this do not understand that Apple did this to make the phones work better, not worse.

    A worn-out battery not only lasts less time per charge, but also has more limited instantaneous power output compared to a new battery.

    As a result, when a phone is used in an extreme power-hungry way (for example, web surfing, screen on full bright, and making a call), the battery could drop below its usable voltage range and the phone could go dead (maybe dropping an important call) with no warning.

    The intentional slight slowdown of the phone is to preserve its ability to perform as the user would expect, even though the battery is performing much worse than a new battery.


    No, I'm sorry but on reflection, in all honesty I do believe Apple did something wrong - they should have informed the owner that the phone was being slowed down. Given *them* the option to get a battery replacement, at full price would have been no issue I think too.
  • Reply 35 of 39
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,868administrator
    kewlio said:
    Someone just suggested to me that this "batterygate" is not fundamentally different to VW Dieselgate. I'm finding it hard to argue.
    VW Dieselgate: "Oh, here, let's cheat these federal laws and alter the programming on a car specifically while it's being tested to meet emissions laws."

    Apple: "Let's prevent some iPhones from crashing randomly because of a depleted consumable."

    I don't disagree that they should have been more forthcoming about it. But, one is in clear violation of the emissions laws, and the other violates none of them. The only commonality the two have is programming.
  • Reply 36 of 39
    kewlio said:
    Someone just suggested to me that this "batterygate" is not fundamentally different to VW Dieselgate. I'm finding it hard to argue.
    VW Dieselgate: "Oh, here, let's cheat these federal laws and alter the programming on a car specifically while it's being tested to meet emissions laws."

    Apple: "Let's prevent some iPhones from crashing randomly because of a depleted consumable."

    I don't disagree that they should have been more forthcoming about it. But, one is in clear violation of the emissions laws, and the other violates none of them. The only commonality the two have is programming.
    Yes certainly but in terms of both misleading the customer, and not treating them in good faith. When we buy an iPhone we are buying it as specified, it performs at a given level (speed), not (a lot) less than that. And with VW, they sold the cars as performing at a given level (emissions), not a lot less than that.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 37 of 39
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,868administrator
    kewlio said:
    kewlio said:
    Someone just suggested to me that this "batterygate" is not fundamentally different to VW Dieselgate. I'm finding it hard to argue.
    VW Dieselgate: "Oh, here, let's cheat these federal laws and alter the programming on a car specifically while it's being tested to meet emissions laws."

    Apple: "Let's prevent some iPhones from crashing randomly because of a depleted consumable."

    I don't disagree that they should have been more forthcoming about it. But, one is in clear violation of the emissions laws, and the other violates none of them. The only commonality the two have is programming.
    Yes certainly but in terms of both misleading the customer, and not treating them in good faith. When we buy an iPhone we are buying it as specified, it performs at a given level (speed), not (a lot) less than that. And with VW, they sold the cars as performing at a given level (emissions), not a lot less than that.
    While I continue to maintain that I would have preferred more disclosure about what the 10.2.1 patch did beyond "fixed unexpected shutdowns" as declared in the patch notes, Apple has never promised a certain level of performance, nor guaranteed that it would ever stay that way.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 38 of 39
    A product or service must perform within reasonable parameters of those as demonstrated when purchasing, and do so for a reasonable time after purchasing (at the very least within warranty period). That is the implied contract. That's why we have consumer protection laws.

    We're talking big performance drops here. Just as if your car became only able to accelerate at half the original rate, or only to be able to run at 35 mph instead of 70 on the freeway, then you would have cause for redress. Firstly you'd be able to get it serviced, which is better than a phone. But also within warranty, or within reasonable time after purchase, you have a case for redress from the manufacturer. You wouldn't have to buy a new car. Why should an expensive item like a phone be any different.

    Full disclosure: I am very unhappy that I and others in my family have updated phones more than once due to unacceptably slow performance (yes after closing all apps and rebooting), and now find that replacing the battery would have solved the problem. And I would have been happy to pay full freight for the battery swap, if I knew that was the issue. 
  • Reply 39 of 39
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,350moderator
    kewlio said:
    Full disclosure: I am very unhappy that I and others in my family have updated phones more than once due to unacceptably slow performance (yes after closing all apps and rebooting), and now find that replacing the battery would have solved the problem. And I would have been happy to pay full freight for the battery swap, if I knew that was the issue. 
    It may not have been the issue in every case, Apple introduced the performance throttling in 10.2.1 in January 2017 as a response to bad batteries causing shutdowns. The throttling would mainly affect peak performance.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/23/apple-says-ios-10-2-1-has-reduced-unexpected-iphone-6s-shutdown-issues-by-80/

    If the phones were upgraded before then, it was most likely something else causing it.
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