Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Apple probed as French customers say iPhones are designed to die

Apple probed as French customers say iPhones are designed to die

A French watchdog agency has launched a probe into whether Apple deliberately phased out older iPhones to force customers to upgrade to a newer model, according to global media outlets.

In December, Apple confirmed that it is slowing down the performance of its old smartphone models because the lithium-ion batteries they are equipped with lose power over time and their capacity may be insufficient, for example, if the device used in cold weather.

A French prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation of USA tech giant Apple (AAPL.O) over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization, a judicial source said on Monday.

The Silicon Valley company faces fraud lawsuits in the U.S. for slowing down devices to compensate for poor battery performance.

Apple, naturally, hasn't commented, but instead pointed to a statement made on 28 December in which it "apologised" for its handling of the throttling issue.

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Apple has been confronted by a slew of lawsuits over the software tweak, which had led to noticeably slower performance in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models.

The probe is said to be over "alleged deception and planned obsolescence" of Apple products.

"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". The DGCCRF's preliminary investigation could take months, and depending on the findings, the case will either be dropped or handed to a judge for a more in-depth investigation, according to Reuters.

The original lawsuit was brought association Stop Planned Obsolescence (HOP, or Halte à l'Obsolescence Programmée), shortly after news about the battery slowdown began to break in the mainstream press.

Executives at the tech giant could be jailed and the company fined 5% of its turnover, if found guilty in court. This bummer, first reported by Bloomberg Tuesday, is based on consumer groups' allegations that Apple is intentionally shortening the life of older devices.

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