Manzana will have to load with the highest fine imposed in France in the field of consumer rights. The apple company has agreed to pay 25 million euros to avoid a judicial process after the French anti-fraud services found that they existed lacks in the updates of the operating system of iPhone phones, which in many cases led to the slowdown in its use. In addition to dealing with the fine, the company must post a statement on its website for a month with the resolution of the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression of France. In case of sitting on the bench, an extreme that will avoid compliance with the fine, the US group would have been exposed, if convicted, to a fine that could have reached 10% of its annual turnover in France.
Was the Paris Prosecutor’s Office who initiated all this procedure that goes back to January 2018 based on the complaint presented by a user association that fights against planned obsolescence and that collected the complaints from thousands of users of the iPhone 6, SE and 7 models. The owners of the devices found that they were slower after the update. Given the impossibility of returning to the previous version of the operating system, many of the users were forced to change batteries or even buy a new phone. Although in principle the complaint focused on the issue of planned obsolescence, the researchers dismissed that charge during their investigations to guide their complaint towards the lack of information that this update entailed. The French agency ended up concluding, after such investigation, that the gaps in the information given by the US multinational on the iOS system update (in versions 10.2.1 and 11.2) they constituted “a deceptive commercial practice by default”.
“It is a great victory against this kind of scandalous practices, both for the consumer and for the environment,” the two co-founders of the Alto association to the planned obsolescence, Laetitia Vasseur and Samuel Sauvage, who relied on the testimonials of 15,000 people To launch your complaint. However, the association regrets that it has not been punished only Apple has been punished for commercial deception by omission and not for maintaining a business policy of deliberately programming the expiration of its technological products in prejudice of users.
And the case may not be settled because the transactional agreement with the French anti-fraud service does not close consumers the possibility to sue Apple Civilly to claim compensation. The apple group reacted with a statement in which it insisted that its objective “has always been to create safe products appreciated by customers, and an important part of that is to make the iPhone last as long as possible”