French government investigates planned obsolescence allegations amidst iPhone slowdown con...

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in iPhone
The French government is reportedly investigating a recent private complaint against Apple, which charges that the company's decision to slow down iPhones with weak batteries is a form of planned obsolescence meant to sell new hardware.




The investigation was initiated on Friday, and is being led by the DGCCRF anti-fraud agency, according to a judicial source cited by Reuters. Action began because of a legal complaint by consumer association Halte l'Obsolescence Programme, or Stop Planned Obsolescence in English.

HOP first filed a criminal lawsuit against Apple in December, saying its goal is to "defend customers and the environment against this waste organized by Apple." In France it's illegal to intentionally shorten the lifespan of a device, and the company could conceivably face fines and/or prison sentences.

Apple admitted to slowing down old iPhones on Dec. 20, and has since been hit with a barrage of legal actions worldwide. The company has defended its strategy as necessary to protect devices from sudden shutdowns, which could damage electronics.

Plaintiffs and other critics have claimed that intentionally or not, Apple's policy makes people more liable to buy new iPhones. Older models will often have trouble with newer apps and iOS updates.

In response to early public outcry, Apple issued an apology and began selling $29 out-of-warranty battery replacements, down temporarily from $79. The company is also working on a software update that will provide more details on battery health.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    But when you replace the battery at a price, and the phone runs like new because you replaced the battery, died planned obsolescence still stand? And what about the other manufacturers that release phones at the level In price and refinement or their cheaper options? Apple was wrong for not being upfront about processor slowdown for the sake of an almost dear battery but everyday I just see it as an attack based on it’s the most popular company where their prices are mostly eye watering expensive even though I feel from experience the other companies are far worse. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobrabadmonkwaltg
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Wouldn’t old phones that suddenly shut down be more likely to prompt a new phone purchase? This software management is more likely to enable people to limp along with the old phone that little bit longer.

    The thing that I find fascinating about this brouhaha is the number of people willing to aggressively assign the worst motives to Apple, willfully misunderstand what has happened, and demonstrate their ignorance in the loudest manner.

    Apple’s sins are a lack of communication, a lack of communication, the high price of their phones, the one year warranty, a lack of communication, and a tendency to make what’s inside the phone a mystery. Oh, and a lack of communication.
    edited January 8 jbdragonStrangeDaysracerhomie3watto_cobraadm1jony0waltg
  • Reply 3 of 27
    LatkoLatko Posts: 35member
    The company's idea that customers will be comforted with a $50 discount on batteries is as naive as a badass can value his customers themselves.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 27
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 1,798member
    One opinion:

    https://techpinions.com/design-decisions-smartphones/51975

    There is some truth in the idea which lends support to the French investigation but I can't see how this can be proved unless we get a wiki leaks style revelation from someone in the know. The article has an error or two but the idea is clear.

    Apple has been treading a fine line for a few years now and in an age when people are using their phones more than ever before and technologies are being pushed that spin the cycle of near constant use, it is true that batteries will run through enough cycles to see them degrade 'early'. That might be tricky to define, though.

    I'm not sure if requiring the user to change the battery will be enough to justify the use from the get go that some may consider the presence of 'inadequate'  battery capacities.

    My sister-in-law just bought a fully electric car. The battery is guaranteed by the manufacturer for a minimum of five years, no matter, the charge cycles, temperature, climatological situation etc.

    Should mobile phones come with similar warranties for a set period of time that exceed the current statutory warranty? 


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 27
    I firmly believe this issue is the result of incompetence by some Apple engineers and not some grand conspiracy to force devices to be unusable.  If Apple had included the code in iOS to begin with the argument would have a little more weight, but ultimately the throttling was implemented after multiple users complained of unexpected shutdowns.  This was a bandaid fix to a flawed design.  For whatever unknown reason the iPhone 6 and later need more voltage than the battery can supply under normal operating conditions when the battery is only slightly degraded.  If Apple was planning on "encouraging" upgrades they certainly could have found a much better way to do so.
    feudalistmuthuk_vanalingambshank
  • Reply 6 of 27
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,579member
    Apple is just doing normal power managment. Lithium has a limited number of charges. When you replace your phone every 1 or 2 years, this is not a issue. I think it's something like 500 Charges or so before it starts dropping off. This is FULL Charges from dead. So if you only drain to half and so only need to charge to half, that counts as a half a charge. So 2 half charges equals 1 full charge.

    Rechargeable battery's have to be charged up the correct way or you have issues. So Lithium is some nasty stuff. There's a lot of battery management that goes into them. Even when it shows Empty on your phone, they're generally still really at around 30%. Because if they get to low, they won't charge up. This seems to be happening on some Note 8's when they are fully drained. They won't charge backup no matter now long the charger is plugged in.

    As battery's age, the voltage drops off. If it drops off to much, the phone powers off. That's a little annoying. Now wouldn't your phone just randomly power down give you a excuse that it's time to buy a new phone? That the current phone is just old?

    All Apple is doing to slowing down the phone at peek demand times when it needs the most power and can't get it. Slowing it down to keep the phone from shutting down for a bit allowing it to continue to run on the older, weaker battery seems like a way to let people hold onto their phones LONGER without having to do anything. Let alone Upgrade to a new iPhone. With a new battery the phone can run at peek speed all the time.

    The phone is still going to get a little slower with each major iOS update. That's normal with ANY OS. The OS grows, gets more complex, new features, it needs a even faster CPU. Maybe more RAM, and some more storage space. The simple fact is, my iPhone 6 into it's 4th year of owning it, is quite a bit faster then my iPhone 4 when it went into it's 4th year. It got slower each year as a new major iOS version was installed and saw many new features over those 4 years. The same has been happening with my iPhone 6. Of course you don't get everything because of hardware limitations, like I don't have Force Touch. That came on the 6S.

    When you do a SPEED TEST on the CPU, you're trying to run the CPU as FAST as you can for a period of time. That's doing exactly what Apple is trying to stop. So it looks like it's some huge speed hit when that's not the case at all. That's not how your device normally operates. I see no reason why Apple would normally have to explain this all anyway. It's normal battery management. Apple doing what they can to prolong the life of iOS devices using older, weaker battery's. You really think no one else is doing this?
    edited January 8 tmayStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0waltg
  • Reply 7 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,628member
    I’m wondering how you go about proving Apple is doing this to “force” people to buy new phones? Apple has already explained its motives and intentions. I’m assuming a conspiracy theory is not considered proof. People may think Apple is using planned obsolescence but can the prove it. Wouldn’t it take a smoking gun memo saying just that? I know we all watch too many legal and crime shows and I hope that hearsay and theory doesn’t count as evidence. It seems all these lawsuits hinge on proving that.
    StrangeDaysanton zuykovwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 27
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,058member
    78Bandit said:
    I firmly believe this issue is the result of incompetence by some Apple engineers and not some grand conspiracy to force devices to be unusable.  If Apple had included the code in iOS to begin with the argument would have a little more weight, but ultimately the throttling was implemented after multiple users complained of unexpected shutdowns.  This was a bandaid fix to a flawed design.  For whatever unknown reason the iPhone 6 and later need more voltage than the battery can supply under normal operating conditions when the battery is only slightly degraded.  If Apple was planning on "encouraging" upgrades they certainly could have found a much better way to do so.
    Its probably the TSMC chips.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,058member
    lkrupp said:
    I’m wondering how you go about proving Apple is doing this to “force” people to buy new phones? Apple has already explained its motives and intentions. I’m assuming a conspiracy theory is not considered proof. People may think Apple is using planned obsolescence but can the prove it. Wouldn’t it take a smoking gun memo saying just that? I know we all watch too many legal and crime shows and I hope that hearsay and theory doesn’t count as evidence. It seems all these lawsuits hinge on proving that.
    This is why Cook, Riccio , and Federighi should be invited or subpoenaed to appear before Congress to answer questions.

    Also the French Assembly.

    If there is nothing to hide they will answer truthfully.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 3,858member
    78Bandit said:
    I firmly believe this issue is the result of incompetence by some Apple engineers and not some grand conspiracy to force devices to be unusable.  If Apple had included the code in iOS to begin with the argument would have a little more weight, but ultimately the throttling was implemented after multiple users complained of unexpected shutdowns.  This was a bandaid fix to a flawed design.  For whatever unknown reason the iPhone 6 and later need more voltage than the battery can supply under normal operating conditions when the battery is only slightly degraded.  If Apple was planning on "encouraging" upgrades they certainly could have found a much better way to do so.
    Just go buy your Android phone and get it over with then. Your logic doesn't make any sense and never has, yet you still fail to understand why Apple did what they did. You were provided with more than enough proof of what was going on in a previous thread. 
    edited January 8 JFC_PAStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 27
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,661member
    to sell new hardware? Are people that stupid? Replacing battery costed a fraction of the whole damn phone.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 27
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,302member
    I can't think of many devices that can run for two years, 12 hours a day, 8760 hours total, and not require maintenance. Battery replacement is maintenance, or warranty repair at the worst, but planned obsolescence, not a chance.

    Most people don't push their phones that hard and easily achieve two years of usage. Why design for the a few outliers?

    Make the French a special version that's bigger, heavier, and yeah, more power, and see how it sells compared to existing designs. People prefer thin and light for the most part. 

    I once watched a program on tank production in WWII, and would note that the Russian T-34 had an expected lifetime of 14 hours, so design teams worked to reduce the production costs for anything that was "built to last", transmissions being especially notable.
    edited January 8 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    78Bandit said:
    I firmly believe this issue is the result of incompetence by some Apple engineers and not some grand conspiracy to force devices to be unusable.  If Apple had included the code in iOS to begin with the argument would have a little more weight, but ultimately the throttling was implemented after multiple users complained of unexpected shutdowns.  This was a bandaid fix to a flawed design.  For whatever unknown reason the iPhone 6 and later need more voltage than the battery can supply under normal operating conditions when the battery is only slightly degraded.  If Apple was planning on "encouraging" upgrades they certainly could have found a much better way to do so.
    Design flaw, eh? Is that what you call it when your aging car battery won't crank in winter (or summer)? No? How come that's not a design flaw but this is? Same problem.
    edited January 8 watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 14 of 27

    k2kw said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’m wondering how you go about proving Apple is doing this to “force” people to buy new phones? Apple has already explained its motives and intentions. I’m assuming a conspiracy theory is not considered proof. People may think Apple is using planned obsolescence but can the prove it. Wouldn’t it take a smoking gun memo saying just that? I know we all watch too many legal and crime shows and I hope that hearsay and theory doesn’t count as evidence. It seems all these lawsuits hinge on proving that.
    This is why Cook, Riccio , and Federighi should be invited or subpoenaed to appear before Congress to answer questions.

    Also the French Assembly.

    If there is nothing to hide they will answer truthfully.
    Why just Apple? Here's 11.5 million reasons why Android phone makers should do the same:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=my+android+phone+shuts+off+by+itself
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 27
    entropys said:
    Wouldn’t old phones that suddenly shut down be more likely to prompt a new phone purchase? This software management is more likely to enable people to limp along with the old phone that little bit longer
    No sir. When shutdown happens, user have clear indication whats wrong. In warranty, after warranty go for new battery. Done. 

    But, what to do with slow phone? Go for new one because at time nobody knows nothing about real issue. I don’t think that’s planned obsolescence, but sh..y customer service it is. 
    atomic101muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 27
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,302member
    feudalist said:
    entropys said:
    Wouldn’t old phones that suddenly shut down be more likely to prompt a new phone purchase? This software management is more likely to enable people to limp along with the old phone that little bit longer
    No sir. When shutdown happens, user have clear indication whats wrong. In warranty, after warranty go for new battery. Done. 

    But, what to do with slow phone? Go for new one because at time nobody knows nothing about real issue. I don’t think that’s planned obsolescence, but sh..y customer service it is. 
    You would think that no iPhone owner had ever used Google to, you know, search to find out why his iPhone had slowed down or was failing. Unfortunately, there are a plethora of dipshits providing misinformation about the slowdowns, for the most part, citing "planned obsolescence" and "iOS upgrades" as the primary reasons, not understanding that Li-ion batteries have a limited life. 

    Certainly, there were people that did get their batteries changed out after a visit to an Apple Store, returning their iPhones to near "as new" condition. Apple is guilty of applying a solution to a failing battery and not providing a black and white consent to allow that, but certainly not guilty of "planned obsolescence".


    edited January 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    tmay said:

    Make the French a special version that's bigger, heavier, and yeah, more power, and see how it sells compared to existing designs. People prefer thin and light for the most part. 
    If this is just an investigation, let it be. 

    But if Halte l’Obsolescence Programme gets a judicial ruling, be glad that vengeful people don’t run Apple. 

    It’s awfully tempting to put in a France-only iOS update that just puts everything back, and a dialog that says, “due to a lawsuit launched by
    Halte l’Obsolescence Programme to prevent us from improving power management on iPhones with worn-out batteries, your phone is more likely to crash when the battery is cold or below 75% charge. Click this link to lodge a complaint against the commission. If we get this lawsuit reversed we will reintroduce the improved power management. You can also prevent the crashes by having your battery replaced at an Apple store or an Apple authorized repair centre.” 

    Idiots. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 28,369member
    Latko said:
    The company's idea that customers will be comforted with a $50 discount on batteries is as naive as a badass can value his customers themselves.
    What?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,058member

    k2kw said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’m wondering how you go about proving Apple is doing this to “force” people to buy new phones? Apple has already explained its motives and intentions. I’m assuming a conspiracy theory is not considered proof. People may think Apple is using planned obsolescence but can the prove it. Wouldn’t it take a smoking gun memo saying just that? I know we all watch too many legal and crime shows and I hope that hearsay and theory doesn’t count as evidence. It seems all these lawsuits hinge on proving that.
    This is why Cook, Riccio , and Federighi should be invited or subpoenaed to appear before Congress to answer questions.

    Also the French Assembly.

    If there is nothing to hide they will answer truthfully.
    Why just Apple? Here's 11.5 million reasons why Android phone makers should do the same:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=my+android+phone+shuts+off+by+itself
    Definately Google and Android too.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    k2kw said:
    lkrupp said:
    I’m wondering how you go about proving Apple is doing this to “force” people to buy new phones? Apple has already explained its motives and intentions. I’m assuming a conspiracy theory is not considered proof. People may think Apple is using planned obsolescence but can the prove it. Wouldn’t it take a smoking gun memo saying just that? I know we all watch too many legal and crime shows and I hope that hearsay and theory doesn’t count as evidence. It seems all these lawsuits hinge on proving that.
    This is why Cook, Riccio , and Federighi should be invited or subpoenaed to appear before Congress to answer questions.

    Also the French Assembly.

    If there is nothing to hide they will answer truthfully.
    Before congress? On the issue of power management of their product? A freaking congress, eh? Are you out of your mind completely? I hope you were being sarcastic...
    edited January 9 tmaywatto_cobrajony0
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