Late last year, Apple issued an apology for deliberately slowing down old iPhone models through software updates. Many of its customers had suspected this for years, and now legal action has been taken against Apple for its actions. Apple apologized, but said that it slowed down the phones to prolong the life of older phone models with failing batteries. But now, Apple is under investigation in France. It is the third country to investigate Apple following Israel and the US, but it is the only country where the alleged offence is a crime. If found guilty, Apple may have to pay a penalty of up to 5% of their annual turnover, which is huge for a multi-billion dollar company, and some of its executives may even face jail time.
Although Apple has given its own reasons for its actions, the pro-consumer group Stop Planned Obsolescence, who filed the claim against Apple in late December that resulted in the French investigation, said that its actions seemed suspicious. The software updates that led to the slowdown of older iPhones coincided with the release of newer models. They believe that Apple’s actions were a deliberate ploy to get Apple customers to buy a newer model. This can potentially be one of the biggest crisis that Apple has had to deal with in its history. Apple is the leading phone provider in the US and has large market shares across the world. If Apple is found liable in France, more investigations may appear in different countries, which will surely affect Apple’s brand. Apple has owned up to its actions, now its time to see whether its customers will lose faith in its products and go with the competition.