An investigation was opened in December 2022 for misleading commercial practices and planned obsolescence after a complaint filed by the French association Halte à l’obsolescence programmed (HOP) against the American smartphone giant Apple, the prosecution announced on Monday May 15. from Paris. The investigations into this complaint denouncing a faulty repairability of the apple devices were entrusted to the national investigation service of the general direction of competition, consumption and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF), according to the prosecution, which confirmed a announcement of the association.
In a press release, the latter said she hoped that this investigation would allow “to sanction and demonstrate the criminal nature of serialization practices” of the American group. These practices consist “to associate the serial numbers of spare parts with that of a smartphone, in particular via microchips, giving the manufacturer the possibility of restricting repairs for unauthorized repairers or of degrading a smartphone repaired with “generic” parts remotely »according to HOP.
Tim Cook in Paris in June
“On the occasion of the visit to Paris of Tim Cook, the general manager of Apple, in a month for the VivaTech event, HOP calls on the smartphone manufacturer to guarantee the right to repairability of its devices in a logic of ‘sincere circular economy’, writes the association. Apple France could not immediately be reached by Agence France-Presse for comment.
In February 2020, Apple had agreed to pay a fine of 25 million euros in France as part of a criminal transaction, to end prosecution for deceptive commercial practices. An investigation was opened in 2018, after a previous complaint from HOP, which then denounced facts of premature and voluntary aging of old iPhones, the giant having admitted that it voluntarily curbed the performance of old models after a certain time, but in the goal according to him “to extend their lifespan”.