A French activist group has launched a criminal lawsuit against Apple over its policy of slowing down older iPhones in a case that could see the tech giant ‘s executives jailed and cost it five percent of its income if convicted of the crime of “planned obsolescence”.
The move by Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP – Stop Planned Obsolescence), an environmental association, comes after lawsuits were launched this week in the US against Apple for similar reasons.
The suit was filed on Wednesday in the Paris prosecutor’s office, HOP said in a statement.
“Apple has put in place a global strategy of programmed obsolescence in order to boost its sales” of new iPhones, the group said.
HOP believes that the US firm can be sued over the sale of all iPhones in France since the introduction of a law in August 2015 that made it a crime to “deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product to increase the rate of replacement.”
It believes Apple could be liable for a fine in line with the value of all its iPhone French sales since the law came into force.
The suit will be heard in a criminal court if prosecutors decide it is legitimate.
The maximum penalty is a prison sentence of two years, a fine of up to 300,000 euros, and five percent of the firm’s annual turnover.
READ ALSO: France shocked at iPhone X costing exactly French minimum wage
“Everything is organised for force consumers to renew their smartphones,” said Laetitia Vasseur, the co-founder of HOP.
“However, when the phone is priced at 1,200 euros, which is more than the SMIC (the minimum monthly wage in France), these practices are unacceptable and must be punished.”
“It is our mission to defend consumers and the environment against this waste organised by Apple,” she said
Apple France did not respond when asked for comment on the lawsuit by The Local.
HOP is currently suing Japanese printer maker Epson over the firm’s alleged policy of deliberately limiting the lifespan of their machines. The Epson suit, currently working its way through the legal system, was the the first such case to be taken in France against a company accused of the crime of planned obsolescence.
French prosecutors on Thursday confirmed that they have launched a probe into Epson for alleged planned obsolescence in its products.
“For the first time in France and to our knowledge in the world, judicial authorities of a country have taken up a case of planned obsolescence,” HOP lawyer Emile Meunier told AFP news agency.
Several lawsuits have been filed in the United States alleging that Apple defrauded iPhone users by slowing devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance.
This is not the first thing Apple sabotage old iPhone … Google complaints in the past, you will know what I mean.
I have stopped using Apple products for more than 5 years now. Not that their products is no good. Quite the contrary, Apple makes good stuffs. But their greed and the bully strategy really put me off.
I am now 100% Android, and I will throw away Windows if there is a viable alternative for computer (Microsoft is another company I don’t like. But you at least get choices on hardware with this company.)
romjacket: silently degrading performance in a machine is indefensible. Coupled with the fact that users cannot replace the battery without voiding the warranty makes this a pretty open and shut case of planned obsolescence. They need to answer for this.
energyghost: French activist group is suing apple for planned obsolescence. France passed a law in 2015 that made it a crime to “deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product to increase the rate of replacement.” Apple also put this out today (damage control?):
More iPhone Scame
A google trends search for “iphone slow” returns a graph with humps representing iphone releases. They’re claiming its only been happening since iOS 10.
SeeAyeAch: Submission statement: In plenty of threads since the throttling admission by Apple, I have seen plenty of comments claiming that this has only been happening since iOS 10. This, in my opinion, is irrefutably alarming, and enough to counter that statement. Since my other post got removed for not having a submission statement, I wanted to repost it again to make sure people see this.
RobertLeeSwagger: I think they’re finally starting to get bad press around it, which is why they are addressing it this time around.
Also, in the past, new phones were baked in with the costs of cell plans. Now that people have the option to hold onto their phones and save money, they are trying to do that(probably in higher numbers than was anticipated). In the past, Apple releases a new phone and new software, your old phone struggles with the software, but you hit your2 years and just go get a new one. Now, you hit two years and are still happy with your phone. You’d like a new one, but you don’t need it. All of a sudden your phone starts acting up. You take more notice now because getting a new phone means re-upping on your $35/ month payments rather than using your old iPhone for 6 months and saving $200 or so.
Coincidentally, we have had the new phone payment style for just long enough for people to recognize this pattern. Last iPhone release there were murmurs, but not much of a pattern was established. I think people were looking for it this time around and are forcing Apple to respond.
My position on it all is that Apple isn’t technically doing anything wrong they are just making little to no effort to do what’s best for their consumers and, at this point, there’s little incentive for them to change their practices.
iseeyoubruh: Devils advocate here:
Perhaps it slows down because of the increased software updates your device incurs. A computer will eventually slow down as well, after using up a lot of GB and also running multiple programs simultaneously. Moreover, with each new software update there are new capabilities (and transmit more data?) which adds stress to the device.
Therefore, the slow down of older devices is a byproduct rather than an objective for Apple.
isurvivedrabies: so youre telling me… when a new device comes out… and your old one isnt as fast in comparison…
sorry, this is totally explainable. maybe they have been doing it just since ios 10, doesnt mean older devices being slower than newer ones isnt reality. and iphone owners are the kind of people who would have to look this up.
RocketSurgeon22: Buy Samsung.
Novusod: People should just stop buying smart phones. It is not a necessary item you need to live. Rough it like is still 2007. You know go back to the dark ages when all cell phones could do was make phone calls and send text messages. Oh the horror.
RockMars: Every iOS release has more resource demanding features and graphics than the previous release. For example, there is no way the first iPhone released in 2007 could even run iOS 11.