French Prosecutor Launches Probe Into Apple Planned Obsolescence: Judicial Source

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The probe, launched by France's consumer fraud watchdog agency DGCCRF Friday, is only the latest scrutiny Apple has faced after admitting last month it slows down older iPhones for battery-related reasons.

On Monday, French prosecutors announced the opening of a probe into suspected fraud by Apple in the wake of a complaint by the group-known by its French acronym HOP-which accused the US -based company of cheating costumers unaware of the flaws intentionally built into the phones.

There have been concerns about the level of iPhone X demand from some analysts, but now Apple is under fire in France for its alleged "planned obsolescence" of older iPhone models.

Apple has been targeted by tax evasion protesters in France
Image Apple has been targeted by tax evasion protesters in France

After a lawsuit by a French consumer-watchdog group in late December, prosecutors in France announced on Monday that they're opening an investigation into whether Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhones in an attempt to force consumers to buy new ones, a practice commonly known as "planned obsolescence".

In its letter dated December 28, Apple claimed it wanted customers to be able to use its devices for as long as possible.

"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". The issue only affected the iPhone 6 and above. Users would need to pay $30 to have a battery replaced, however the cost has been reduced from the previous $80 price.

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To make up for what some have deemed a hassle, Apple has since offered discounts on replacement batteries.

In numerous lawsuits from the United States, Israel and South Korea, Apple has been accused of "planned obsolescence" - a widely shared conspiracy theory among iPhone users that the iPhone maker shortens the phone's life to pressure customers to upgrade.

"With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown", the company said.

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