Israeli consumer protection agency acknowledges ongoing Apple investigation

Today’s Apple news comes from Jerusalem in Israel, where the country’s consumer protection bureau confirmed yesterday that it was busy with an investigation into Apple’s apparent failure to reveal to consumers that its software might be slowing down the performance of certain iPhones.

The Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority (CPFTA) issued a statement saying that Apple’s chief in Israel, Rony Friedman, has already appeared in front of members for questioning.

A spokesperson for the CPFTA stated that it had the power to impose sizeable fines in civil cases, but that it was too early in the investigation to mention the possibility of this happening.

GFK, a market research firm, believes that Apple iPhones constitute a 16.2% market share of smartphone ownership in Israel. Given these figures, if Apple is found to have broken the law, the fines could reach into the equivalent of tens of millions of pounds.

As so often happens in cases like this, an Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

In December 2017, Apple conceded that its software ‘sometimes’ intentionally slows down phones when their batteries are getting old. The company at the time issued an apology and reduced the price of replacement batteries for phones that were affected.

Some commentators are of the opinion that Apple has neglected to reveal the fact that rundown batteries not only cannot hold a charge properly, but that they also result in reduced performance. This failure to be transparent, they say, has caused some users to purchase a new phone instead of a new battery.

Government agents in other countries, including South Korea, Italy, France and Brazil, are also investigating the Cupertino-based company after receiving similar complaints.

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