By Rajendra Singh
Programmed (or planned) obsolescence is the design of a product so that it has an artificially limited lifespan. “Artificially” indicates that, without this design, the product should be able to function forever without interference.
Apple recently admitted to slowing down iPhone speed as a way to help cope with software updates and battery strain. However, many people have been speculating that it is a tactic to sell more iPhones. When older versions become useless and people have to purchase new ones, Apple makes a profit. This provides an example of programmed obsolescence.
According to The Local, a French activist group called Halte à l’Obsolesence Programmée (Stop Planned Obsolesence) filed a criminal lawsuit against Apple. This was in response to a law from August 2015, which made it illegal to “deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product to increase the rate of replacement.” Maximum penalty for this crime is a two-year prison sentence, a 300,000 Euro fine, and five percent of the firm’s annual turnover.