It’s certainly no longer fresh news that Apple has been slowing down older iPhones so that customers upgrade to newer models, but this has caused a major stir in France.
According to BBC News, French prosecutors recently opened an investigation against the tech giant on the grounds that it’s committed “planned obsolescence”.
They’ve accused Apple of knowingly committing this crime across its range of mobile products. In France, it’s against the law to shorten product lifespans so customers buy newer models.
In December, the firm hit the headlines around the globe when it confirmed that it intentionally issues software updates slows down older iPhones.
Although customers can go to their nearest Apple store and get their handset’s battery replaced for a fee, most people end up upgrading to the latest model.
French politicians aren’t happy with this, and the country’s government has ordered an investigation. Its economy ministry consumer protection agency is leading the case.
Apple has already been hit with a ton of lawsuits across the world, and consumer support group Stop Planned Obsolescence has also criticised the tech company’s actions. The organisation told the BBC that France has become the third country to investigate Apple on claims of obsolescence, following moves from Israel and the US.
However, this is apparently only illegal in France. If the court deems Apple guilty of this charge, then it may have to cough up 5 percent of its annual turnover.
“The slowing down of older devices seems to have the deliberate aim of pushing Apple customers towards purchasing the new model,” said the group.
Last month, Apple apologised for its actions. It said: “We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”
“We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down.”
The company added: “First and foremost, we have never – and would never – do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”
“Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”