Thursday, 15 November, 2018

France investigates planned obsolescence of Apple products

France investigates planned obsolescence of Apple products France investigates planned obsolescence of Apple products
Theresa Hayes | 10 January, 2018, 08:26

A French prosecutor has launched a formal investigation into claims Apple deliberately slowed older iPhones.

-The investigation was opened on Friday and will be led by the DGCCRF, part of the Economy Ministry, the source said, reports Reuters.

This complaint has lead to French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF opening a preliminary investigation into the USA tech giant.

Under French law, it is a crime to intentionally shorten the lifespan of a product with the aim of making customers replace it. Companies found guilty of doing so risk fines of up to five per cent of their annual sales.

Apple revealed it had "downclocked" older models' central processing units (CPU) but said it did so to reduce the strain on dated batteries and stop the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.

"It is the first criminal procedure in the world against a company on the basis of planned obsolescence", Emile Meunier, a lawyer for the group, told AFP.

Apple strongly denied engaging in the practice in a statement issued December 28, a week after its initial admission about slowing down phones. Consumer association Halte à l'Obsolescence Programmée (HOP) filed the initial complaint and is asking Apple to "compensate" affected consumers.

The investigation, confirmed by Paris prosecutors on Tuesday, comes just weeks after the USA technology giant apologized to customers for software changes it says unintentionally reduced the performance of older smartphones to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Reuters reported the preliminary investigation could take a number of months and will either be dropped or passed on to a judge for further investigation, depending on the findings.

France won't be the only country looking for answers from the Cupertino tech giant.

Apple finally admitted last month what many users had believed to be happening for years - that older devices such as iPhones were being made to run slower and that their battery life was predetermined to get significantly shorter after a certain time.