French prosecutor investigating Apple for ‘planned obsolescence’

A French prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation of Apple over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization, reports Reuters. The investigation will be led by French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF, part of the Economy Ministry.

The French watchdog’s preliminary investigation could take months, and depending on its findings, the case could be dropped or handed to a judge for an in-depth investigation, according to Reuters. Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5% of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.

Apple has published an apology letter to customers in regards to “Batterygate” for slowing down older phones to compensate for erratic battery performance. The tech giant is offering $29 replacement batteries for those with an iPhone 6 or later. The discount, which represents a $50 savings, starts in late January and ends in December 2018. Apple will also add more battery health information to iOS to let users know when the battery begins to compromise performance.