The French Prosecutor’s Office opens an investigation into complaints alleging that Apple is blocking the repair of iPhone parts. If a sanction is found, it would be the first national measure against planned obsolescence.
The Paris Prosecutor’s Office has announced a Official investigation into allegations of planned obsolescence by Apple. Entrusted to the French Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud, and with the power to impose economic sanctions if it determines that the restrictions imposed on iPhone repairs violate French law.
France has led the movement for the right to repair. It seeks to improve and provide security in workshops, and yet, it is increasingly difficult with Apple. The trend worries them: iPhones would be more and more difficult to repair.
Every time Apple launches a new iPhone, a team of technicians based in the French city of Toulouse, known as the repair academy sets to work to meticulously dismantle the device, and, more and more are discovering more and more blocked parts that can only be repaired by reputable and expensive technicians of the company.
What started with the restriction of a chip on the motherboard has evolved to encompass Touch ID, Face ID, the battery, the display, and the camera. Also, according to Repair Academy, Apple Certified Technicians Charge Double than independent repair shops.
For all this, The Paris Prosecutor’s Office has decided to take action on the matter. This fact, if verified in a sanction, would mark the first time that a measure is taken at the national level against planned obsolescence and the pairing of parts.
A problem for users but also ecological
Part matching, also known as “serialization,” links a phone’s serial number to that of an internal part, allowing the device to detect if any of its parts have been replaced. This practice would contradict the ecological image that Apple has tried to project through its efforts in renewable energy and recycled materials.
This modus operandi would have already led to the closure of numerous independent repair shops, given that only Apple Authorized Technicians have the ability to assign serial numbers necessary to complete the repairs.
Alexandre Isaac, CEO of the repair academy maintains that thus, in addition, Apple would be forcing users to pay exorbitant sums to licensed technicianswhich would encourage the trend of throwing away devices instead of repairing them.
In this sense, Apple’s practice, in addition to affecting consumers, also has a significant environmental impact, considering that it is estimated that about 5 of every devices that could be repaired are thrown away.