Facua denounces Apple before the Prosecutor's Office for deliberately slowing down the iPhone - NewCydiaTweaks

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Facua denounces Apple before the Prosecutor's Office for deliberately slowing down the iPhone


As in France, the consumer association will file a complaint with the Office of the Prosecutor to investigate a possible fraud committed by Apple by slowing down old iPhones

Apple may end up paying dearly for the fiasco of the deliberate slowdown of the iPhone with old batteries . If the French public prosecutor's office initiated an investigation yesterday for the possible programmed obsolescence of its mobiles after the denunciation of the association of consumers Hop, now it is the turn to Spain. Facua has confirmed to Teknautas that it will present a similar complaint this week to the Prosecutor's Office to investigate a possible crime of fraud committed by the company. The already known as 'batterygate' has forced Apple to apologize and reduce the cost of battery change. Clear evidence, according to Facua, of what could have happened: a scam.
"We believe that Apple has been able to commit two crimes, one against consumers, for possible fraud, since they have added a 'software' to intentionally manipulate the useful life of the phones without informing the users , and another possible crime of computer damage or sabotage, for altering a product by modifying its computer system, without asking for express permission from customers, "explains Rubén Sánchez, spokesperson for Facua.
It is a peculiar complaint and, if successful, serious in its consequences for Apple . It is peculiar because its presentation before the Office of the Prosecutor initiates a criminal proceeding against a legal entity. There are very few cases in Spain of criminal proceedings against companies. The two most famous and recent are the Volkswagen for the 'software' that manipulated pollutant emissions in diesel vehicles, and the Iberdrola, for inflating the electricity tariff in 2013. Both have been investigated by the Prosecutor for possible crime against consumers . And that is what the legal team of Facua sees in the Apple case. To appreciate evidence of crime and reach a conviction, the company faces millions in fines.
In the US, up to 10 collective lawsuits have been filed in which users demand compensation, claiming that they decided to renew their iPhone after noticing a significant slowdown after updating the operating system. To the denunciations presented in France and now Spain, other similar ones are united in Israel and South Korea. And everything points to that is just the beginning.
(Reuters)
How did we get here? The fiasco started at the end of last year, when dozens of users began to complain in Reddit about the slowness of their old iPhone. A few days later, the first technical analyzes confirmed this: the iPhone 6, 6s and SE with spent batteries suddenly went much slower . Apple had no choice but to acknowledge that it was true: at the end of 2016, with the release of iOS 10.2.1 (and 11.2 on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus), it introduced without warning a 'software' feature that slowed down mobile phones when their batteries deteriorated over time . For what? According to Apple, to prevent the device from shutting down unexpectedly and improve the user experience.
The problem is that, unknowingly, many customers decided to spend the 89 euros charged by Apple to replace the battery or, directly, buy a new phone. The avalanche of complaints after recognizing the deliberate slowdown has been such that the company was forced to apologize, reduce by € 60 the cost of replacing the battery (leaving it at € 29) and launch new 'software' functions that allow to check simple way the battery status. It is in this strategy to recognize the error and try to hide it in the form of benefit to the consumer where associations such as Facua in Spain or Hop in France see a possible crime of fraud.
Apple argues that it was for the good of the client, but it is clear that they have obtained an economic benefit
According to César Zárate, a criminal lawyer, the key to the matter will be to prove that Apple made the decision behind the backs of users with the ultimate goal of enriching themselves. "In that case it would be a massive fraud, they argue that they did it for the good of the client, but it is clear that the final result in many cases was that people ended up changing cell phones or batteries. Experts, but I think the case may have a tendency to prosper in France and Spain, "he explains to Teknautas.
In the neighboring country, the investigation of the case, at the request of the Office of the Prosecutor, will be carried out by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Fight against Fraud (DGCCRF), under the Ministry of Economy. Its equivalent in Spain is between the Spanish Consumption Agency (Aecosan, under the Ministry of Health) and the CNMC. "Aecosan does not have the power to fine, but it does assess whether there has been a possible crime and go to court, but it has not done so with Volkswagen or Movistar's rate hikes. investigating, here the administration crosses its arms, "says Rubén Sánchez.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.  (Reuters)
Consulted by this newspaper on the new complaint in Spain before the Prosecutor's Office, Apple has not spoken. Only refers to the statement issued on December 28 to try to settle the matter. "We know that some of you feel that Apple has disappointed youWe apologize. We have never done -not we would- anything that intentionally shortens the life of a product, "he explained at the time, but the problem is that thousands of people in several countries think the opposite, and the Prosecutor's Office now has the floor in Spain. see evidence of crime, pass the case to a competent court, possibly the National Court, given the state scope of the case.If you see no evidence, it will file it.Unfairly or not, Apple can no longer avoid it: for the general public the iPhone is already (a little more) synonymous with programmed obsolescence.

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