US investigators are interested in knowing if the Apple misled investors

Image Credit Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

The US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether the smartphone maker violated financial services laws, the two publications said.

USA regulatory agencies want answers about how Apple implemented firmware created to temporarily slow down iPhone units with depleted battery cells, Apple said in a statement to Axios.

Yesterday, Apple confirmed that U.S. government agencies have questioned the tech company about forcing software updates on iPhones which ultimately slow older phones down.

Sources familiar with the matter said the investigators are looking into Apple's public statements on the matter. Its market cap today is $851.726 billion. Additionally, the company can not incentivize sales by lowering the price of the X model without cannibalizing sales of its current mid-range models - iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. "Even minor violations can lead to criminal misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by a fine and/or jail time".

In a statement released on Tuesday, Apple confirmed that it had received questions from United States government agencies and was in the process of responding to them.

So far, consumers have filed about 50 proposed class action lawsuits concerning Apple's latest iPhone software update, which they claimed caused sudden shutdowns and weakened the performance of the SE, 6 and 7 lines iPhone models.

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Apple has been in talks with Indian government for months, seeking tax breaks and incentives to expand operations in the country.

Last week, Apple announced that its next update, iOS 11.3, that will launch this spring will include a feature allowing users to choose to slow down processors to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

The slowing of iPhones only happens at the point where their batteries get weak or reach low health condition, and it can be repaired if the owner changes the aged battery with a new one.

Consumers responded angrily a year ago when reports revealed that Apple deliberately was slowing older generations of iPhone through its periodic updates to the phone's software. However, with the company now reported to halve the production, its share value is hit. In order to temper the situation, Apple had to publish an apology letter on their website and cut the prices of replacement batteries for old iPhones from 79 dollars to 29 dollars.

In the meantime, today's Axios report points to Apple putting more emphasis on improving existing features in its operating system rather than rolling out new ones when it comes out with its iOS 12 update, most likely in September.

Apple CEO Tim Cook did acknowledge the fact that Apple "should've been clearer" about their plans.

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