Apple has been sued in a country where it is illegal to reduce the performance of hardware with age. France may turn out to be the heaviest battlefield in a legal war the the giant of technology is now facing.
Since Apple admitted that it is slowing down older iPhones, the company has been hit by criminal lawsuits and criminal charges. The plaintiffs were joined by users from a country where such activities may simply turn out to be illegal.
Users in the United States have already filed claims against Apple. They accuse the company that it deliberately slows down the operation of the old iPhones in order to make customers buy new iPhones faster. Apple says that its actions were only designed to increase users’ satisfaction and protect them from problems caused by the use of old cells.
Of all the actions brought to date, this one from France can be the biggest challenge for Apple. While in the United States and Israel the company is accused of unethical conduct and acting to the detriment of the customer, which is difficult to prove, in France the lawsuit is about breaking the law.
Since 2015, it has been illegal in France to “deliberately reduce the life span of a product in order to speed up the need to replace it“. French politicians have long been fighting against the practices of manufacturers who deliberately create devices with an “expiration date” so that they have to be replaced more often.
Manufacturers are accused of deliberately programming faults that should occur after a certain period of use and producing disproportionately expensive spare parts, the price of which makes repair of the equipment unprofitable.
According to a statement made by Halte à l’ Obsolescence Programmée, the highest penalty awarded so far for violating this right is 2 years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros and 5% of the company’s annual turnover. Apple will not go bankrupt, but must prepare for a serious battle on many fronts.