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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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