South Korean prosecutors have launched a probe into Apple to determine whether the company is guilty of planned-obsolescence practices in relation to older iPhone models, according to reports.
Following up on a complaint lodged by a South Korean consumer group about battery issues and slowdown of older iPhones, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office has asked its intellectual property-related crime unit to conduct an investigation, Apple Insider reports, citing Korean media.
Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty (CUCS), a civil group based in Seoul, filed a criminal complaint against Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and the tech giant’s Korea chief Daniel Dicicco last week, according to the Korea Herald newspaper.
CUCS said in its complaint that the intentional slowing down through software update of older models of iPhones, which forces its owners to buy new iPhones, is a scam.
The consumer group said Apple should be charged with fraud, destruction of property and obstruction of digital devices.
The charges represent the most serious allegations against Apple in almost 50 lawsuits across the United States, plus government inquiries launched by American, French and Italian officials.
Apple admitted in an open letter published on Dec. 20 that the company made some older phones run more slowly, so as to prevent the handsets from shutting down suddenly.
It later said in a statement on Dec. 28 that it has “never – and would never – do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”
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