Two countries are now investigating Apple over iPhone planned obsolescence

planned obsolescence
Planned obsolescence is a touchy subject for any tech lover. No one likes the idea that their time with their new tech toy is somehow limited — and the concern that a corporation may be pulling strings to make your tech slower and force you to upgrade sooner is one that appeals to conspiracy nuts and normal folks alike. And when it comes to this issue, Apple has usually gotten the worst of it over the years. The Cupertino, California giant was recently forced to admit that yes, tech does exist that slows down older iPhones, but Apple claims it’s for the overall good of the consumer.

It appears that Apple’s explanation isn’t good enough to fly in France, which has begun an investigation of Apple. France has some tough laws against planned obsolescence, with a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and up to 5 percent of a company’s annual turnover. With a company the size of Apple, that’s likely to be in the billions.

The news comes from French news agency AFP, while the actual investigation stems from a complaint made by the consumer rights group HOP (Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée). The complaint (the essence of which can be read on HOP’s site, via Google Translate) is clearly not convinced by Apple’s report on the matter, claiming that the timing of the slowdown is too close to the release of the latest iPhone range, and suggesting that there is another issue at play here.

This isn’t the first time that HOP has moved against a company. It previously filed a complaint against the printer manufacturers Epson, HP, Brother, and Canon, accusing them of underhanded tactics that forced consumers to purchase more ink. An investigation has since opened on that matter, as well.

And Apple’s bad news doesn’t stop there — it turns out that the United States Senate is also asking questions of Apple following its confession. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., chair of the Senate commerce committee, seems unsatisfied by Apple’s chosen method of making amends to customers with cut price batteries. According to the Wall Street Journal, a letter from Thune to Apple CEO Tim Cook questioned Apple’s refusal to replace batteries for free, pointing out that “Apple’s proposed solutions have prompted additional criticism from some customers.” Thune has requested a reply from Cook by January 23.

Following the results of the original Geekbench tests that proved that iPhones were being slowed down over time, Apple has extended an olive branch to consumers to attempt to make the situation right. Since the culprit of the slowdown is often reduced battery effectiveness, Apple is offering cut-price battery replacements for older iPhone models, while iPhone 6s owners could receive a replacement battery for free.

Update: Added news that the U.S. is also now investigating Apple.

Mobile

Where do AirPods go when they die? The big problem with tiny earbuds

True wireless headphones are incredibly small and convenient, but they’re also some of the most ephemeral and disposable tech products available. With relatively short lifespans, true wireless earbuds range from wasteful to legitimately…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix right now (August 2019)

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Mobile

Apple implants warning message to restrict third-party battery repairs

Third-party battery replacements for the newest iPhone models will result in a warning message in the device's settings. The only way to clear it is to take the iPhone to an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
Computing

FAA bans recalled MacBook Pro models from all flights due to battery issue

Certain models of Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro were recalled in June 2019, and now the device has been banned from flights by the FAA. Affected units were sold from September 2015 to February 2017, and Apple will replace affected batteries…
Mobile

The best iPhone car mounts to keep your smartphone in sight and stable

The best iPhone car mounts are designed to securely hold your device in place and keep it in view while on the road. Here are some of the mounts you should look into if you're in the market for a quality piece of equipment.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on refurbished Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and iPhone

Break your smartphone or, worse yet, lose it? Tired of paying for a device you don't own? Amazon's got some great deals on unlocked and refurbished phones including the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS, and Samsung Galaxy S10 this week.
Mobile

Is the Apple Card any better than a regular credit card? We asked an expert

The new Apple Card is integrated with your iPhone and comes with a titanium backup card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay, but how does it stack up against the competition? We asked some experts to find out.
Mobile

Apple Card is finally available. Here’s everything you need to know about it

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.
Mobile

Save space and data with Google Go, now for regular Android devices

Google Go is the top app for space- and data-saving searches on the entry-level Android Go, and now Google is making those handy capabilities available on mainstream Android devices.
Mobile

Apple Card Review: Come for the titanium card, stay for the app

The Apple Card has a lot of buzz, even if it’s iPhone-only card management will leave you stranded should you lose your phone. Apple’s more concerned with getting reluctant Americans to use mobile payments.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for August 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for August 2019.
Mobile

Safeguard your stylish ebook reader with the best Kindle Oasis cases

There aren't a lot of truly great options if you're looking to buy a case for your new Amazon Kindle Oasis ebook reader, but we're here to guide you to the ones worth looking at. These are our top picks for style, utility, and protection.
Deals

Get yourself an Amazon-renewed iPhone 8 Plus at a $135 discount

If you’re not keen about spending around $1,000 or more for the newest iPhone X series, then this Amazon-renewed iPhone 8 Plus is your best bet. Amazon is offering the 64GB unlocked version for only $465 instead of $600.
Computing

The best portable monitors for 2019

Portable monitors are smaller displays that can fit inside backpacks or cases. They're great picks for gaming sessions, extra screens on your desk, and more. Find the best portable monitors with our helpful list!