New world. Apple ready to pay again to end forced obsolescence accusations

The battery level of an iPhone. (BRUNO LEVESQUE / MAXPPP)

The case dates back to 2017. Users have complained that their iPhones are racing slower. Apple had admitted to having deployed, in 2016, a software update having the effect of slowing down the iPhone 6, 7 and SE. Immediately, we had cried foul and the American brand found itself mired in a dirty story of planned obsolescence.

At the time, very quickly, the firm had agreed to pay 500 million dollars to the owners of iPhone concerned (in fact, a big bundle of money for lawyers and about 25 dollars per user). Thirty-three US states have also mobilized and demanded accounts from Apple. It is to them that the Apple brand has just agreed to pay $ 113 million to try to end this story.

Meanwhile, Apple has also been ordered in Europe, for the same story, to pay a 25 million euro fine.

Despite appearances, it does not seem appropriate to speak of forced obsolescence in this matter. Moreover, in Europe, where this legal qualification now exists, it was not retained. Same in the United States. What has been criticized against Apple is a lack of transparency and information.

The brand explained afterwards that it had not slowed down the iPhones to encourage them to buy new ones but, on the contrary, to extend the lifespan of the old ones. This concerns, in fact, the battery (hence the name “batterygate” given to this case). Over time, laptop batteries become less powerful, and after a while, older iPhones might suddenly shut down. It is to avoid this that the brand slowed down the speed of execution of the microprocessor.

In 2017, Apple also offered users to replace their used batteries with new batteries for 29 euros instead of 90 euros. It should be remembered that the iPhones are probably the most durable smartphones on the market. They can withstand software updates for five to six years and are the best sellers on occasion.

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