A French consumer association called “HOP” – which stands for “Stop Planned Obsolescence” – has filed preliminary legal complaints against Apple and Epson in court. They claim Apple is slowing down the performance of certain iPhone models to make battery usage "smoother".
According to HOP, the complaint was filed against Apple last Wednesday, whilst a similar complaint against Epson was filed in September. The organisation’s co-founder, Laetitia Vasseur, told Reuters the aim of the complaints was to apply the French consumer law, which was modified in 2015 to include the issue of planned obsolescence.
Apple Is Already Facing Lawsuits
Apple is already facing lawsuits in the United States over accusations of having defrauded iPhone users by slowing down their performance, without warning, to compensate for sub-par battery performance.
These lawsuits were filed after Apple stated that operating system updates released since “last year” for the iPhone 6, iPhone6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature “to smooth out” power supply from batteries that are old, cold or low on charge.
Phones without this adjustment shut down all of a sudden because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, Apple went on to say. Whether these statements are really the case, only Apple themselves know.
In France, under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5% of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them. If France can lawfully bring Apple to task for deliberately compromising device performance, maybe other countries’ law systems will follow.
Apple has always had a more or less clean reputation. For a product that costs so much, consumers expect to get what they pay for.
Officials from Apple France did not comment on the lawsuit or the allegations.