Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

France is investigating Apple for slowing down old iPhones

France is investigating Apple for slowing down old iPhones

Hop has also filed legal complaints against Epson, HP and Canon, alleging the companies deliberately shorten the life of print cartridges.

The French Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the U.S. high-tech company Apple, accusing them of fraud in connection with their manufacturing practice for the so- planned depreciation, which deliberately slowing the operation of older models, "Iphone", reported French media quoting court sources.

"It's a first victory for consumers", the head of the group, Samuel Sauvage, told AFP on Tuesday.

Apple has said that it slowed batteries in order to lengthen the lifetime of its products, and that it would be replacing the batteries of all iPhone 6 and later devices if customers requested. ( AAPL ) for "deception" and "planned obsolescence", according to media reports.

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

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The company has offered a discounted battery replacement service for several models of iPhone, and it has maintained it would never intentionally shorten the lifespan of any Apple product in a letter:"We apologise".

This so-called "planned obsolescence" is decried by consumer groups as unethical and the cause of mountains of unrecyclable waste each year, but experts warn it is very hard to prove. Since Apple doesn't break out its smartphone revenue by individual company, it's unclear just how much 5 percent of its revenue from French iPhone sales would be, but with the iPhone being the most popular smartphone in the world, it's safe to say it would be a significant sum.

Out of all three countries, planned obsolescence is only a criminal offence in France.

HOP, which counts just one full-time employee and around 20 volunteers, is using Hamon's law to encourage manufacturers and consumers to fix their devices rather than throw them away.

HOP has compiled complaints from 3,000 consumers about Apple, which will be sent to the prosecutor's office, and the group hopes more people will now come forward about other devices.

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