Apple is currently under fire after news broke that the company was intentionally slowing down iPhones as their batteries aged, with lawsuits in New York and Israel already having been filed. However the latest suit, filed in France by the environmental group Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (which roughly translates to “stop planned obsolescence”) could be far more significant for Apple, since planned obsolescence is illegal under French law, according to a report from TheLocal.fr.
Unlike in America or Israel, where the other lawsuits have been filed, France made it illegal to “deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product to increase the rate of replacement,” back in August 2015. According to Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée’s statement announcing the complaint, the maximum penalty for companies found guilty under French law is two years in prison, a fine of 300,000 euros, and five percent of the company’s annual turnover.
According to the statement, the group’s goals are twofold — one, to protect consumers from having to buy phones more often, and two, to help cut down on the environmental waste from such frequent upgrading.
This isn’t the first lawsuit Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée has filed against a major technology company over planned obsolescence — the group is already in middle of a suit against Epson and other printer manufacturers as well.