U.S. government questions Apple about its handling of ‘Batterygate’

Apple is facing new questions from U.S. government officials about its handling of “Batterygate”, reports The Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday, Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, pressed Apple for answers to a series of questions about how the company decided to throttle back iPhone processing performance in phones with older batteries.

In a letter to CEO Tim Cook, a copy of which was viewed by the WSJ, Thune asked how Apple has tracked customer complaints of processing performance and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month.

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Also, a French prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation of Apple over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization, reports Reuters. The investigation will be led by French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF, part of the Economy Ministry.

Apple has published an apology letter to customers in regards to “Batterygate” for slowing down older phones to compensate for erratic battery performance. The tech giant is offering $29 replacement batteries for those with an iPhone 6 or later. The discount, which represents a $50 savings, starts in late January and ends in December 2018. Apple will also add more battery health information to iOS to let users know when the battery begins to compromise performance.