Apple could be fined up to $11.5 billion in France after being accused of planned obsolesence

Apple could be fined up to $11.5 billion in France after being accused of planned obsolesence
A week ago today, Apple revealed that it slows down the CPU on older iPhone units with aging batteries in order to prevent the devices from shutting down. This led a number of iPhone users to file a lawsuit against Apple for breach of contract, as Apple never informed users that it throttles the speed of their device. Apple is also being accused of slowing down the CPU on older handsets whenever the latest iPhone models are released.

Yesterday, a French consumer organization called HOP, which stands for "Stop Planned Obsolescence," filed suit against Apple in France. Joining Apple in the group's crosshairs is printer manufacturer Epson. Laetitia Vasseur, co-founder of HOP, says that by filing the two complaints, it hopes to have both companies answer to charges that they violated French consumer law; in the country, planned obsolescence is not allowed. Companies found guilty of violating this law can be fined as much as 5% of their annual revenue. That would amount to a hefty $11.5 billion fine that Apple could be forced to pay.

French law prevents companies from shortening the lives of its products on purpose in order to generate demand for newer models. Updates that Apple sent out last year for the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature that throttled CPU speed in order not to tax older batteries. The specific update was to iOS 10.2.1, and a month after its release, Apple revealed that it was sent out to prevent certain iPhone models from shutting down when the battery could not provide enough power to handle a heavy duty task.


While Epson denied the charges against it, Apple France could not be reached for a statement.

source: Reuters

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42 Comments

1. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Cheater will getting caught one day. Now it could the day. My question is there could be something bigger than slow the CPU that Apple executives doesn’t want us to know until we dig it out.

7. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Yup. Apple was 100% wrong. Intentionally slowing phones down to boost replacement revenues. Glad I hopped on Android. Loving my Mate 10. Best phone I've ever used.

9. daniyal_05

Posts: 93; Member since: Nov 15, 2017

Why not more for suing? Becos iphoneX is not selling well?

11. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Dude. I so want that phone. How is it? I want the Pro. The design is simply stunning!

15. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

I have the non pro. Amazing phone.

17. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Yeah I know you don't have the Pro, as I Assume you would have given the name in full if you did. But I've never had a phone from them and the Mate 10 Pro and the one of the Honor phones, I surely want to try out. I really want to check out MIUI on the Honor.

36. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I have the P10 and though it's not the same it has the same internals as the Mate 9 and is an excellent phone. I wanted to get the Mate 10 but couldn't justify the $250 price difference between it and the Xiaomi Mi Mix2 so went with the Xiaomi. Btw Huawei is emui and Xiaomi is miui. Back on topic. What is overlooked here is the disdain with which Apple treat their customers. Their assumption that only they know what's good for them, blaming customers for faults ("you're holding it wrong, you're charging it wrong" etc). Now it's this throttling issue purely because Apple have been using poor batteries all along. For as long as I can remember iPhone's have had batteries that barely made it past 18 months. It probably won't be a fatal blow but it's exposed them as making false claims about their "quality". They are overpriced upper mid-range phones at best with good cameras and software.

38. Chrisubuntu

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 23, 2017

They are great phones, except the terrible way the implement android notifications.

20. tcomm

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 08, 2017

Apple should fire the small-minded manager who came up with this 'brilliant' idea. It would be a good start.

2. aegislash

Posts: 1535; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

I can't help but feel like this situation would be a lot less of a mess if Apple had simply disclosed this information with consumers before they officially rolled out the *feature*.

4. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

From an article I saw on another site, Apple had no plan to disclose this at all but were under pressure to out themselves first when a developer started making noise about it.

8. aegislash

Posts: 1535; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

As much as I would love to find a reason they'd have for not disclosing this information....I just can't. Apple is 100% in the wrong.

6. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

See, that’s only what we know. It could something else Apple doesn’t want to telling us, could it be that if they tell us about it not simple battery replacement but it could whole phone replace. So far the evidence suggest Apple do this to make user upgrade more often, I said it before and I say it again Apple know it has reach it peak at iphone 5s then they come out with 4.7 inches screen the sweet spot for user experience and pack all the feature we need. Can you name something from there that compel people to updgrade? 3D touch, better camera, stereo speaker, wireless charge, remove headphone jack, better Bluetooth, FaceID etc..... Do you see good reason to spend 650 while the one in your hand still working fine? End of the day, she just another big cooperation getting pressure from hungry share holder unlimited wanted with limited resources. Apple claim a moral high ground but evidence suggest she want our money, by cripple our device or courageously remove thing to make user buy more expensive accessories. I could be wrong the again evidence suggest it is not a case.

13. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

No the 6 was the best and sales proves this as no other iPhone has matched the 6 and 6S combine sales of 220M. Apple is about to get hurt bad and every counteybwill be during them. This is whybthey need that 250B. If 100 countries sue Apple at 10B+, Apple will be broke. I hope their spaceship can take off. This potentially could hurt Apple. This is worse than batteries of the Note 7, because that was an accident. Apple basically and intentionally, make defective devices to encourage new sales. Even Microsoft at their worse was this low. But even they got sued over the quality of Windows.

43. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 742; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

@makatijules "This is worse than batteries of the Note 7, because that was an accident" Was the battery of an old ios device running on the latest ios version explode? LOL! It clarified that the battery is needed of replacement. So if you replace the battery of an older ios device. Like the iphone 5s, ipad air, and ipad mini 2. All those throttling would be removed. BTW. How good is a 5 year old battery of an android device that has been repeatedly charged for 5 years?

3. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

That's not all... Apparently in France this "planned obsolescence" is illegal to the point that it can carry jail time with it. Though... Not so sure they'd be able to enforce that one.

5. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

But, but, but, it's a "feature"!

10. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Yesssssss!!!!! Time to bring the cows home to mama. He for Robin Hood to take from the rich and give to the poor. When countries sue corps, I wonder where all that money goes? B3cause for States who need tax money, using corporations for consumer fraud, would take in billions in cash revenue. Companies like Apple and Microsoft would get the lions share if fines for sure. But many others would too. Samsung cheated on benchmarks? No. They simply ran the CPU at top speed. Cheating would be, overclocking. Apple, purposely makes an iPhone last 2 years, so you are forced to buy a new one. And they do it by slowing your older phone down to encourage you. Which "chesting" is a dually hurting the customer? Show what a phone potentially could do, or firc8kg people to spin money? Apple even said, their iPhone is designed to last a year. They openly said this. And no one said jack about it.. en_us/article/j5geby/the-iphone-is-guaranteed-to-l​ast-only-one-year-apple-argues-in-court If fact they said it in court

12. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Go France, punish this cheating, lying, stealing company!

14. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Samsung is having a fest with this news...

18. Man_Utd

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Funny you say that because a year ago, the tables were turned. Samsung was dealing with a burning Note and Apple was enjoying the bad PR. Granted the situations are different but I think Samsung did a better job taking care of their customers.

19. Jrod99

Posts: 779; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Well they did release the phones a second time with the same issue.

26. Man_Utd

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Same issue, different cause. Go and read up.

27. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

You're comparing a manufacturing accident, against software that someone sat down and created to work this way? Wow! If the Note 7 explodes and you get injured you sue the manufacturer, whether they knew about the fault or not. Though this won't cause physical I jury, your only option to sue would be on a class action manner, because you stand zero chance by yourself.

46. Man_Utd

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Please read my post again and read every word....

16. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Awaiting the incoming, "You're updating it wrong!", in 5... 4... 3...

24. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

You're updating it wrong! Happy now?

21. cjslman

Posts: 23; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

Apple did mess this up. What Apple should have done was announce it as a feature and have the user be able to enable it via a switch Taking the decision for the user was not a very good idea.

22. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Has anyone at Apple actually though about, I don't know, maybe using proper batteries? Come on, 700+ € and you are still being too cheap to use high quality batteries. I've never heard of any other flagship where battery degrades so much in a year that it can't provide enough power to CPU.

23. theot14430 unregistered

Please Apple die.

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