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Old 01-12-2018, 12:30 PM
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Default Canarian Weekly: Apple is feeling the crunch now

APPLE’S shock admission that it is slowing down phones deliberately to make them “perform better” has caused the US company a serious headache.

The giant tech company has been bombarded with lawsuits across the United States, and Apple executives are facing far more than a potential civil suit in France… they are facing prison!

In August 2015, France passed a law that makes it a crime to “deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product to increase the rate of replacement”.

The aptly-named organisation Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP – Stop Planned Obsolescence), has brought the criminal lawsuit against Apple.

If convicted of deliberate, planned obsolescence, the tech giant’s executives found responsible will be jailed for up to two years.

They may also have to forfeit up to 300,000 euros, and 5% of the firm’s annual turnover.

The group said in a statement: “Apple has put in place a global strategy of programmed obsolescence, in order to boost its sales of new iPhones.”

According to French Newspaper The Local, HOP believes that the US firm can be sued over the sale of all iPhones in France since the introduction of the 2015 law.

It feels that Apple could be liable for a fine, in line with the value of all its iPhone French sales since the law came into force.

Should prosecutors decide there is a legitimate claim, the suit will be heard in a criminal court.

“Everything is organised to force consumers to renew their smartphones,” said HOP co-founder Laetitia Vasseur.

“However, when the phone is priced at 1,200 euros, which is more than the minimum monthly wage in France, these practices are unacceptable and must be punished.”

She added: “It is our mission to defend consumers and the environment against this waste, organised by Apple.”

The discussion about throttled processor speed began after a Reddit post went viral last month. The Redditor wrote that Apple appeared to be slowing down old iPhones which have low-capacity batteries.

After this post went viral, Apple was forced to respond and admitted to it. According to the company, this deliberate throttling of processor speeds on older phones is an effort to keep them running smoothly.

The throttling, according to Apple, began in 2016, despite years of reports from users. But instead of fixing a hardware issue after users began to report widespread malfunctions with the iPhone 6s battery, Apple started to alter, algorithmically, how the phone uses power.

The phone feels slower because it actually is slower, and Apple says this improves safety.
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