# **The secret that makes Apple about to pay the price in France** **Prosecutors in France have opened an investigation into whether Apple intentionally encourages users to throw away their iPhones instead of finding a way to repair them them.** Every time Apple releases a new generation of iPhone, a team of technicians in the French city of Toulouse start taking it apart. During these three years of work, the team came to a conclusion: Apple is slowly turning the phone into a fortress. Today’s iPhones are filled with parts that can’t be repaired or replaced by anyone other than the expensive Apple-approved repair shop system. France doesn’t like that at all. Alexandre Isaac, CEO of The Repair Academy, a renowned training and research group in Toulouse, France, says the problem is getting worse and worse. ## Make the iPhone an impregnable fortress Every time a new iPhone is released, Isaac’s team finds an additional part that has been locked to only work with a specific Apple device. According to Isaac, at first it was just a chip on the motherboard. Then, the list of restricted parts for repair extends to Touch ID, Face ID, and finally the battery, screen, and camera. Isaac thinks Apple is encouraging users to throw away their devices, rather than repair them. The reason comes from the fact that if users want to repair, even simple, will have to pay an Apple-certified technician, more than the value of an old iPhone. The Repair Academy estimates an Apple-certified technician charges customers twice as much as an outside repair shop. “A lot of people see Apple as an environmental company,” Isaac said, referring to the solar panels outside Apple’s headquarters, as well as the company’s use of recycled aluminum to make MacBooks. However, the repair academy has collected experimental evidence for this. The results prove that everything is contrary to what Apple says. Instead of encouraging users to reuse, Isaac argues, Apple engineers are proactive, or in other words trying to make iPhones harder to repair. It is an issue that Isaac has pursued over the years to bring to light. Finally, after his many efforts, a prosecutor in Paris decided to take action. ## The war between France and Apple On May 15, the prosecutor announced that there will be a formal investigation into allegations that Apple is pursuing a planned obsolete business model, a term refers to the design of a product in a way that intentionally limits its lifespan. For many years, France has been at the forefront of the movement for the right to repair, even introducing the first repairability scoring system in Europe. “France is promoting the right to repair in a way that no other country has. This is the first time we’ve seen a movement against planned obsolescence through component pairing at the national level. part,” said Elizabeth Chamberlain, sustainability director for iFixit, a US-based group that advocates for repair rights. term referring to associating the phone’s serial number with the serial number of each internal component.This helps the phone notify the user whether the screen, battery or sensor has been replaced. “In iPhones, the most dangerous display message is when you try to swap the screens of two iPhones that are working properly,” Chamberlain said. Swapping the screens would render the device inoperable, because of the serial number. -ri don’t match, or customers will be hit with alerts from their iPhones that their display isn’t verified.Only Apple authorized technicians can reassign the serial numbers ri to complete the repair. Chamberlain insists this is causing independent repair shops to shut down. This is not only a consumer problem but also an environmental one. As of 2022, up to 5.3 billion cell phones have been thrown away, according to estimates by the non-profit organization WEEE, which researches e-waste. Under France’s 2021 anti-waste law, it’s illegal to serialize components like Apple is doing. “The law states that manufacturers must allow consumers to repair their devices without discriminating against any repair shop. If they want to sell their phones to the French people, they have to comply with the law here,” said Laetitia Vasseur, director of the French campaign group Against Device Obsolescence.In fact, in the past, France also In late 2017, Apple was exposed to deliberately slowing down iPhone performance without warning users. especially when you’re trying to swap screens from two working iPhones,” Chamberlain said. Swapping the screens will render the devices inoperable, because their serial numbers don’t match, or the customer will be disqualified. Attacked by alerts from iPhones saying their screens are unverified, only authorized Apple technicians can reassign these serial numbers to complete repairs, Chamberlain asserts. this is causing independent repair shops to shut down.This is not only a consumer problem but also an environmental problem. As of 2022, up to 5.3 billion cell phones have been thrown away, according to estimates by the non-profit organization WEEE, which researches e-waste. Under France’s 2021 anti-waste law, it’s illegal to serialize components like Apple is doing. “The law states that manufacturers must allow consumers to repair their devices without discriminating against any repair shop. If they want to sell their phones to the French people, they have to comply with the law here,” said Laetitia Vasseur, director of the French campaign group Against Device Obsolescence.In fact, in the past, France also caused Apple big trouble due to the scandal of deliberately slowing down the iPhone.In late 2017, Apple was exposed to deliberately reducing iPhone performance without informing users.