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EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding called for closer monitoring of Apple's retail practices on Tuesday, citing concerns over the company's ongoing failure to inform consumers about their warranty rights. Under EU law, companies are required to provide a minimum warranty of two years, but Apple often only advertises support for one year. The European Commission has received complaints from 11 countries over the company providing incorrect warranty information.
"In at least 21 EU countries Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have," Reding said. "This is simply not good enough." She noted that laws ought to be enforced evenly across the EU member states but efforts on the warranty issue have been "very diversified and inconsistent" between nations.
For example, she wrote to the consumer ministers of every EU country last September calling for other nations to act on the problem. Only 15 out of 27 member states replied, even though Italy had just gotten the ball rolling by fining Apple €900,000 for misleading consumers about their warranty rights and pushing them to buy AppleCare as a premium service on top of their device purchase.
Apparently, the misleading information has been removed from Apple's sites for Finland and Hungary, and we assume things are square in Italy after the fine, but issues remain across most of the other countries. For instance, we just checked Apple's French online store and it advertises a one-year limited warranty on the specifications tab of a new MacBook Air, and it promotes the AppleCare Protection Plan in the next sentence.
"This case and the responses I received since I sent my letter have highlighted rather clearly just why the Commission cannot sit on the sidelines on enforcement issues," Reding said. "The Commission has to take a more prominent role in monitoring and coordinating coherent enforcement of EU consumer rules by the member states."
Similar concerns have surfaced recently in Australia, where Apple has been forced to increase its minimum warranty from one to two years, but the company is accused of encouraging employees to avoid the subject of warranties, particularly about the company now being required to provide two years worth of coverage.
The Apple iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
The MacBook Air sports a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor that Turbo Boosts up to 2.8GHz, 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 128GB of flash storage and integrated Intel graphics. It is still extremely thin and lightweight at only 0.68-inches at the thickest part and 2.96 pounds. The MacBook Air carries a 13.3-inch diagonal LED backlit display, operating at 1440 x 900 with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
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