Apple execs face jail in France after lawsuit over slowing down iPhones

“A French activist group has launched a criminal lawsuit against Apple over its policy of slowing down older iPhones in a case that could see the tech giant’s executives jailed and cost it five percent of its income if convicted of the crime of ‘planned obsolescence,'” The Local reports. “The move by Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP – Stop Planned Obsolescence), an environmental association, comes after lawsuits were launched this week in the US against Apple for similar reasons.”

“‘Apple has put in place a global strategy of programmed obsolescence in order to boost its sales’ of new iPhones, the group said,” The Local reports. “HOP believes that the US firm can be sued over the sale of all iPhones in France since the introduction of a law in August 2015 that made it a crime to ‘deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product to increase the rate of replacement.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Prove it.

“It believes Apple could be liable for a fine in line with the value of all its iPhone French sales since the law came into force,” The Local reports. “The suit will be heard in a criminal court if prosecutors decide it is legitimate. The maximum penalty is a prison sentence of two years, a fine of up to 300,000 euros, and five percent of the firm’s annual turnover.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, yes, regardless of the idiocy of some of these complaints, Apple brought this parade of idiots, opportunists, and ambulance chasers upon themselves by not being more forthcoming.

Apple should have clearly told users what was happening and included an alert on devices to inform users stating something to the effect:

Your battery has just completed its 500th charging cycle and, to maintain peak performance, needs to be replaced. Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. Your warranty covers a defective battery, but it doesn’t cover battery wear from normal use. For your convenience, your device will continue operating at reduced processor speeds until replacement can be performed.

• If you’re covered under AppleCare+, we’ll replace your battery at no charge if it retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity.
• If your iPhone needs battery replacement and it’s not covered, the service fee is $79.
• If your iPhone has another power issue, we’ll give you the repair price after we determine the cause.

The three bullet points above are exactly Apple’s publicly-stated (i.e. not secret) policy today.

Information on how to maximize your iPhone’s battery life and lifespan is here.

Korea seeks explanation from Apple for slowing down devices without warning – December 28, 2017
Apple now facing 8 lawsuits over throttling processors in iPhones with aging batteries – December 27, 2017
Apple tarnished their brand with clandestine iPhone battery management and processor throttling – December 27, 2017
Should Apple replace aging iPhone batteries for free instead of throttling processor speed? – December 21, 2017
Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance – December 20, 201
iPhone performance and battery age – December 18, 2017
Apple met with Chinese regulators to discuss iPhone 6s unexpected shutdowns – February 10, 2017
Rumor: Apple may extend iPhone 6s battery replacement program to iPhone 6 – January 17, 2017
A message from Apple about 
iPhone and unexpected shutdowns – December 2, 2016
Apple offers free battery replacement for ‘very small number’ of iPhone 6s units with unexpected shutdown issue – November 21, 2016


  1. MDN, you know I agree with you on what Apple should have done. I’ve said as much in several posts over the last few days. But in the end, your statement is too long. FOr france may I suggest…

    “Apple: Meilleur si utilisé frais! ™”

    1. MDN and some others say “prove it”. While cycling down the processor may preserve the functionality of an iPhone with a depleted battery, not telling anyone they’re reducing processor speed is in itself proof of planned obselence.

      This is Apple’s big problem now.

      1. First step is, they are stopping ‘this’ situation with a forthcoming update.

        Second, other’s could use ‘some’ cynicism in their outlook, it’s an acquired trait. I’m really not this cynical in life, but with Apple I most certainly am.

        Finally… this is why we have courts. They will judge whether Apple engaged in planned obsolescence. I don’t have enough information to make that judgement, though there is indeed room for it.

        1. You can’t have progress without obsolescence. In anything. Thinking otherwise is to think you can have your cake and eat it, too.

          So… if you plan to improve a product, you are, ipso facto, planning obsolescence.

          Which is why the French law is absurd.

          Not to mention the fact that most, if not all, other cell phones do this also… and also don’t inform users of it.

          1. “Not to mention the fact that most, if not all, other cell phones do this also… and also don’t inform users of it.”
            Proof, or you just posted wasted electrons.

            Obsolescence coming through progress is one thing, planned obsolescence which is the premature deterioration of function is another.

            1. applecynic:

              Because other people murder people, it doesn’t make it lawful or right.

              If other companies are doing this, then they should be prosecuted as well. Doesn’t in anyway excuse Apple.

  2. I am an Apple fan, but I don’t like Apple lacked honesty business practice, which slows down an old iPhones. Apple makes so much profits already, it does not need to make iPhone slows so customers forced to buy new iPhone. Integrity and honesty are the best policy. How disappointed of Apple.
    Looking around my house, there is only Apple products, nothing else, but except only one Bose speaker.

    1. I have an iPhone 6s, one of the first ones. It is now 27 months old. It is still running with the original battery. Over the summer, it started shutting down randomly every once in a while. After updating to iOS 11, it hadn’t shut down at all — not even once. In addition, it feels like my battery now lasts longer than before. It is an old battery (27 months), and I’m sure it is well below 80% of its original capacity.

      I can’t really tell whether my phone’s performance is really slower than before. I’m sure the OS is now throttling my CPU, but it is really difficult to tell.

      At the end of the summer, I was planning on upgrading to iPhone 8. The random shut-downs were becoming a bit annoying. After upgrading the iOS, the shutdowns are gone and I’m still on my old 6s, with no immediate plans to purchase a new phone.

      I’m sure I’m not the only one. I also see a big problem for all those suing Apple to prove “planned obsolescence” hypothesis, if people like me end up postponing the decision to buy a new phone because the new iOS actually improved the performance of their old phones.

      1. Finally a rational comment, as Ron White said “You can’t fix stupid”. This applies to MDN demands to use pop-ups for every possible circumstance involving every conceivable user complaints, it is a catch 22 black hole for apple as the loud mouth whiners cherry pick to get something for nothing, just work at an apple store and you’ll quickly learn this lesson.

        1. After being thrown out of a bar, drunk, into the street and confronted by a cop for vagrancy, Ron WHite also said… “Vagrancy, I don’t want to be drunk out here, I want to be drunk in there!”

          I think it fits Apple’s defense team…

      2. Your iPhone 6s may be eligible for a FREE battery replacement. My 6s and my son’s received free replacement batteries because they were in the right serial number range.

        1. Yes, it is, I had looked up the serial number when they first announced the recall and it was confirmed as eligible. I never bothered replacing, since it worked fine. I may do it now, out of curiosity — to see if I’ll notice any difference in performance.

    2. Predrag,

      I had the same experience. The people here (and the press) act like what Apple did was slow down phones that were otherwise operating normally (albeit with reduced battery life). If that were true, it would arguably be “planned obsolescence.” If pigs could fly…

      In fact, what was happening—particularly in cold weather—was that our phones would unpredictably drop from 80% charge to around 20-30 in a matter of minutes and then shut down completely. We didn’t even get a low battery warning before the shutdown. I never had my iPhone shut down when I needed it in an emergency, but it could easily have happened.

      The fix was to smooth out the peaks in usage so that there was no sudden discharge. The battery degraded gracefully so that we had ample warning to recharge it before it died. Yes, Apple should probably have warned people that the battery needed replacing… but then people would complain even more about “planned obsolescence.” Oh, wait, it DID warn them, but it required them to periodically check the battery pane in the Settings App.

      A year ago, my 2004 Acura had one of its aged engine sensors go bad. Rather than allowing it to damage the engine or shut down the car completely in the back of beyond, the onboard computer was programed to throw the car into “limp home mode.” I could only drive at about 30 mph to the nearest shop that could fix the problem. It didn’t occur to me that I could sue Honda or file criminal charges for “planned obsolescence.”

    1. Come on Botty. That remark represents a mere shadow of the successful sarcastic troll act you have pulled off so well for quite some time. Slipping? Losing your touch? Creativity has gone on vacation?

      Very disappointed in you. I expect so much more.

  3. Jubus. It just changes the threshold for peak power draw. It doesn’t “slow” the whole interface..just lowers the peak clock speed. This is getting waaaay overblown.

    Guess people would rather their phones shut down suddenly?

  4. This is too good! Throw those muthaf*ckers in jail. Tim Cook can afford to bail them out.

    How the mighty have fallen! Apple now regrets their behavior. Sorry, Apple, retrospective sorrow is not a legal defense. Getting caught is not an automatic get out of jail card.

    1. Orbit9000, Totally cause like you would die if you were without your phone for a couple of hours while Apple fixed it in house. Of even a couple of days if Apple FedEx s you a free mailer box. Got to have your phone every second, right??

  5. MDN it sure doesn’t look good.
    If Apple didn’t throttle, after hundreds of charges older phones would start draining their batteries faster, right? People would notice and many would replace batteries, keeping their old phones.
    If Apple throttles, people think their old phone is getting too old for the software or for whatever reason and will think it’s time for a new phone.

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