Apple has been hit with a criminal probe by French authorities over its slowdown of vintage iPhones. This bummer, first reported by Bloomberg Tuesday, is based on consumer groups’ allegations that Apple is intentionally shortening the life of older devices.
A preliminary investigation kicked off Jan. 5 in which Apple was accused of "deceit" and "programmed obsolescence," two things that are apparently not cool with French authorities. Consumer association Halte à l'Obsolescence Programmée (HOP) filed the initial complaint and is asking Apple to "compensate" affected consumers. According to the Verge, Apple has apologized but could still be found in violation of laws against planned obsolescence.
Back in December, Apple released a statement apologizing for slowing down old iPhones.
"We've been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process," the statement explained. "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There's been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we're making. First and foremost, we have never—and would never—do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that."
Apple also explained why some devices may seem slower as their batteries become senior citizens. "About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE," the company said. "With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance."
To make up for what some have deemed a hassle, Apple has since offered discounts on replacement batteries.