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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Apple faces investigation on allegations iPhones are designed to slow down 

Apple has been confronted by a slew of lawsuits over the software tweak, which had led to noticeably slower performance

Apple is facing a French probe: the company has been confronted by a slew of lawsuits over the software tweak, which had led to noticeably slower performance.  Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg
Apple is facing a French probe: the company has been confronted by a slew of lawsuits over the software tweak, which had led to noticeably slower performance. Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg

Apple faces a French criminal probe into allegations from consumer groups that it has been deliberately shortening the life of iPhones.

The investigation, confirmed by Paris prosecutors on Tuesday, comes just weeks after the US technology major apologised to customers for software changes it says unintentionally reduced the performance of older smartphones to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

The authorities opened a preliminary investigation on January 5 against Apple for “programmed obsolescence” and “deceit” after receiving a complaint, according to an official who asked not to be named in line with policy.

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Emile Meunier, a lawyer for Hop, the consumer and environmental protection association that lodged the complaint, said in an email he will share with investigators statements from clients that were “wronged".

He called upon Apple to compensate its customers for the damage and stop such practices.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Seiko Epson also faces a probe in France into suspected planned obsolescence.

Apple has been confronted by a slew of lawsuits over the software tweak, which led to noticeably slower performance in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models. Some accused Apple of intentionally slowing older iPhones to encourage consumers to replace them with newer, more expensive models. The retail price of the iPhone X, which went on sale in November, starts at US$999.

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