Apple Hit with a Lawsuit over slowing iPhones in France and a Pair of Law Firms in Korea are Preparing Class Actions
According to a report from France, the Class Action lawsuits against Apple sweeping the U.S. are now spilling over to France. At the same time, a pair of Korean law firms are preparing their cases to launch the first Class Actions in their country.
According to a French report published today, "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 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.
The group stated in a press release that "Apple has put in place a global strategy of programmed obsolescence in order to boost its sales" of new iPhones.
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."
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 suit will be heard in a criminal court if prosecutors decide it is legitimate.
The French report further noted that "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." Obviously the socialist group is hoping for the five percent of Apple's massive annual turnover.
Laetitia Vasseur, the co-founder of HOP stated that "Everything is organized to force consumers to renew their smartphones. However, when the phone is priced at 1,200 euros ($1,434.00), which is more than the SMIC (the minimum monthly wage in France), these practices are unacceptable and must be punished. It is our mission to defend consumers and the environment against this waste organized by Apple."
Two Class Action Lawsuits Coming from Korea
Earlier today a report out of South Korean noted that "Apple faces multiple lawsuits in South Korea after admitting to slowing down iPhones as the batteries aged. This is to be the first class-action suit in Asia on the issue.
Korean law firm Hannuri said Thursday it would recruit plaintiffs through its website for two weeks and file a lawsuit against the headquarters of Apple to seek compensation in early February.
Cho Gye-chang, an attorney who represents the complainants at Hannuri stated that "Because Apple made users upgrade their phones without informing them of the side effects, it deceived consumers and violated consumer protection law."
Another Local law firm Hwimyoung has already gathered around 20 victims and is also preparing a similar lawsuit. The firm said it plans to sue Apple Korea for damages in early January in Seoul Central District Court. The litigation cost is around 500,000 won ($468) to 1 million won per person.
Earlier today Patently Apple posted a report titled "Korea Communications Commission Puts Apple on the Hot Seat over Allegations of Deliberately Slowing Down iPhones."
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