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Paris prosecutors probe Apple over 'planned obsolescence'

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A Message to Our Customers - Apple

Opened on January 5, the investigation aims at finding facts of "deception" and is led by the national investigation service of the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Frauds (DGCCRF) under the French Ministry of Economy.

Apple has declined to comment on the probe while the French prosecutor's office will now have to determine whether there are grounds to bring charges - a process that is expected to be lengthy and possibly fruitless.

Apple recently acknowledged it does indeed slow the performance of older iPhones, a practice it says it implements in order to prevent phones from randomly shutting down due to battery degradation. "It is our mission to defend consumers and the environment against this waste organised by Apple". Starting with iOS 10.2.1, Apple began to slow down the CPU on phones with aging batteries in an attempt to have the phones last longer.

It denied incorporating planned obsolescence.

In another headache for Apple in France, the company announced last week that it has filed a lawsuit against the Attac activist group after about 100 of its supporters occupied the tech giant's flagship store in Paris last month, protesting alleged "wide-scale tax evasion" by the firm. We apologize. There's been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we're making.

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Critics have accused Apple of nudging iPhone users to upgrade to newer models by letting them think it was the handsets that needed replacing, rather than just the battery.

"Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that".

Using landmark French legislation that makes it a criminal offence to deliberately cut short the life of a product, the group Stop Planned Obsolescence, known by its French initials HOP, is hoping to score a victory for consumers everywhere.

HOP believes Apple could be liable for a fine in line with the value of all of its iPhone sales in France since Hamon's law came into force on August 17, 2015.

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