A French prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation of Apple over the tech giant’s alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products, Reuters reports.
The probe comes in the wake of a complaint filed by a consumer organization, a judicial source was quoted as saying.
The investigation, opened on Friday, will be led by French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF, part of the Economy Ministry, according to the report.
Apple acknowledged last month that it takes some measures to reduce power demands, which can have the effect of slowing the processor, in some older iPhone models.
The French watchdog’s preliminary investigation could take months, and depending on its findings, the case could be dropped or handed to a judge for an in-depth investigation, Reuters said.
Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5 percent of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.
Apple said last month that it would never do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product.
It also said on Dec. 28 that it was slashing prices for battery replacements and would change its software to show users whether their phone battery was good.
In other news, Apple on Monday released an updated version of its operating system software to fix a major microchip security flaw that affected nearly all computer chips made in the last decade.
Last week, Google and other security researchers disclosed two major chip flaws, one called Meltdown affecting only Intel chips and one called Spectre that left computing devices vulnerable to hackers.
The technology giant also released software updates for its Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
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