A group of French environmental activists are sueing Apple for indulging in planned obsolescence and various other wasteful practices. France becomes the latest country after Brazil to call out Apple’s marketing and sales tactics that they are trying to greenwash.
Greenwashing, in its most basic form, is when a company tries to virtue signal about the environment and appear that they care about the environment and are taking active steps to battle various environmental issues. In reality though, they may not be doing much at all.
What makes Apple worse when it comes to greenwashing, is the fact that it goes out of its way to make devices obsolete and sometimes downright unusable, just a few years after introducing them.
Apple is also one of the most vocal opponents of the Right To Repair movement.
Apple, in all its wisdom and glory decided that it would be a great idea to take the charger out of the retail box of the iPhone, and sell it separately. Apple would explain that the reason they were doing so was to help save the environment as people don’t usually need to upgrade their chargers that often. Apple has also introduced a monitor with an attached power cord, that cannot be removed by users, or by regular repair services, but only by authorised service centres.
The motion has been filed by Halt Obsolescence Org, advocacy group that fights for the right to repair and for the tech industry to shy away from planned obsolescence strategies.
“In many of the cases documented in the complaint, malfunctions are found in cases where the device is repaired with a part, even an identical and original part, not authorised by Apple’s software,” the HOP association said in a statement.
This would compromise the possibility to repair or refurbish some products, including iPhone smartphones, the group said.
In a similar case brought before the French consumer watchdog by the group in 2020, Apple agreed to pay 25 million euros ($26.32 million) for failing to inform iPhone users that updates of the operating system could slow down the functioning of the device. However, back then, the charges were mainly for consumer protection. This time around, Apple is also charged for damaging the environment with its practices.