French watchdog launches probe into Apple over 'alleged deception and planned obsolescence'

Bad apples Deliberately slowing down products to force consumers to buy new ones is illegal in France and if found guilty Apple could be fined five per cent of its annual sales

Bad apples Deliberately slowing down products to force consumers to buy new ones is illegal in France and if found guilty Apple could be fined five per cent of its annual sales

France's consumer fraud watchdog has opened a preliminary investigation of Apple over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint from a consumer organization, Reuters reported Monday citing a judicial source.

At the end of a year ago, Apple apologised for deliberately slowing down some ageing iPhone models via software updates but said it did so in order to prolong battery life and not to force customers to upgrade. Apple has apparently declined to comment on the investigation by the French watchdog.

Apple is now facing scrutiny from prosecutors in France, who have launched a preliminary investigation into Apple and what the company has been doing to slow down older iPhones.

Apple recently acknowledged it does indeed slow the performance of older iPhones, a practice it says it implements in order to prevent phones from randomly shutting down due to battery degradation.

A French consumer association called "HOP" - standing for "Stop Planned Obsolescence" - filed a legal complaint against Apple.

Apple said it did slow some phones with ageing batteries but said it was to "prolong the life" of the devices.

Not so fast Apple admitted last month that it intentionally slowed down older models of its iPhones over time and later apologised
Not so fast Apple admitted last month that it intentionally slowed down older models of its iPhones over time and later apologised

"We are hoping to get some answers on whether Apple intentionally restricted the performance of old iPhones and tried to hide this from customers", said the Korea Communications Commission.

The company also announced it will lower all out-of-warranty battery replacements in Apple stores from $79 to $29 until December 2018 and will issue a new software update later this year so users can better track their iPhone battery's health.

"We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down".

French prosecutors have also launched a probe into Japanese printer maker Epson for alleged planned obsolescence in its products.

Last week, a Barclays analyst said 519 million iPhone owners, or 77 percent of iPhone users, are eligible for Apple's offer, and that about 52 million would take it up. "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".

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