France opens another investigation into whether Apple is planning obsolescence for iPhones by restricting repairs by non-approved repairers
In 2017, Halte à l'Obsolescence Programmée (HOP - Stop Planned Obsolescence) filed a lawsuit against Apple for purposely slowing iPhones (the throttling issue). Then in January 2018, Patently Apple posted a report titled "A Prosecutor in France has launched a Preliminary Investigation into Apple's alleged planned Obsolescence of its Products."
Today, according to the news site France 24, France is officially advancing their investigation into Apple Inc. allegedly planning for smartphones to become out of date through restricting their repair, prosecutors and an association said on Monday. A slightly different focus from their 2018 investigation.
The probe into purported misleading commercial practices and planned obsolescence has been under way since December, the Paris prosecutor's office said. It follows a complaint filed by the Halt Planned Obsolescence (HOP) association.
HOP said it hoped the investigation would demonstrate the iPhone maker was "associating the serial numbers of spare parts to those of a smartphone, including via microchips, giving the manufacturer the possibility of restricting repairs by non-approved repairers or to remotely degrade a smartphone repaired with generic parts."
The association called on Apple "to guarantee the right to repair devices under the logic of real circular economy."
Apple in 2020 agreed to pay 25 million euros (then $27.4 million) for failing to tell iPhone users that software updates could slow down older devices.