Class Action suit says Apple forced iPhone users to upgrade to iOS 7 to save it money

Class Action suit says Apple forced iPhone users to upgrade to iOS 7 to save it money
You might recall that a patent infringement suit that was originally filed by VirnetX against Apple back in 2010 reached its most recent conclusion last October with a jury ruling that Apple had to pay the plaintiff $302.4 million. As it turns out, internal Apple documents that were released as part of that trial have lead to the filing of a Class Action suit against the tech titan. Apple is charged with breaking FaceTime on purpose in 2014 for devices running iOS 6 and lower, thus avoiding payments it would have to make monthly to Akamai for relaying data.

Some background information is needed, and we're happy to oblige. When FaceTime launched back in 2010, Apple had two methods that allowed iPhone users to deliver video and audio content to each other. One was a peer-to-peer system that connected the iPhone units directly. The second method used third party relay service from Akamai to transmit data from one iPhone to another.

Apple soon had to do away with peer-to-peer connections for FaceTime thanks to the first verdict in the VirnetX infringement suit, which was won by the latter. Apple was directed to pay $368 million to VirnetX (an amount that was eventually lowered in subsequent trials). The worse part of the verdict was that it forced Apple to stop using peer-to-peer for FaceTime. And the relay system, which originally was used on only 5% to 10% of FaceTime calls, soon was employed on a much larger percentage of FaceTime calls. Apple had to pay Akamai $50 million from April through September 2013 to relay audio and video from one iPhone to another.

But Apple was able to create a way to use peer-to-peer on FaceTime in iOS 7 that didn't touch VirnetX's patents. To save huge gobs of cash, Apple needed a way to get holdover iOS 6 users to update to iOS 7 so that they could use the new peer-to-peer technology on FaceTime. The more iPhone users who remained on iOS 6, the more money Apple would have to continue paying Akamai for the relay system. According to the Class Action suit filed on Thursday, Apple was able to get users to migrate to iOS 7 by breaking FaceTime on the older iOS builds.

Starting on April 16, 2014, Apple started the FaceTime break, blaming it on a bug from an expiring device certificate. Apple's support page at the time even repeated that story. Apple said on the support page that both the user and the friend he/she was trying to FaceTime with would no longer experience any issues if they updated to the newest build of iOS, which was iOS 7.0.4 at the time. This was Apple's way to get out from under the monthly payments it was making to Akamai. Remember, iOS 7 and higher employed the new peer-to-peer system for FaceTime that did not infringe on VirnetX's patents.

The Class Action suit charges Apple with forcing owners of the Apple iPhone 4 and Apple iPhone 4s to update to iOS 7.0.4, a build that the older models could not run smoothly. Many of these older units crashed while trying to run the new software. As a result, the suit claims that Apple violated California's unfair competition clause and intentionally interfered with the possessions of others (a tort called trespass to chattels). The suit seeks an undisclosed amount of money.

Check out the official filing of the suit, which demands a jury trial, directly below.



source: Scribd via AppleInsider

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21 Comments

1. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

s**t, I might have decided to do the same thing, although I would have made sure the software ran smoothly on all the devices getting iOS7.

2. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

typical apple style LOL

13. sissy246

Posts: 7087; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

What are you saying Apple never does wrong. At least that's what fanboys say.

3. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

All companies use dirty tactics. The shear visual degradation iOS went through from iOS6 to 7 is worthy of a law suit. If they did this, then they deserve to be sued.

4. peace247 unregistered

I agree..ios 6 was the only os wich was more refined than android. After ios6 all versions were full of bugs, stutters. Worse than Android.

6. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Yup, I left iOS after 6, couldn't take the horrible design language of the redesign, as well as all the bugs and such. IOS 6 was a work of art. IOS 9 recovered and started to being back the glory days, but then the horrid iOS 10 showed up. I seriously hate iOS10.

8. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

What exactly do you hate about iOS 10. Just curious

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Wow, for once I completely agree with you. I too kept my last iPhone (a jailbroken 4s) on iOS 6 through out its remaining use, even sold it just last year on iOS 6.1.2. Couldn't stand the cartoonish UI of iOS starting with iOS 7, it literally merged the worst of Windows Phone with iOS; a lazy-fugly-flat UI. With no official theming engine, 0 improvements for the 4s that wasn't already possible with jailbreak, and knowing apple's planned obsolescence, I just never bothered upgrading past iOS 6.

9. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

I miss iOS 6 on my iPhone 5, this version is the most beautiful UI and old school I ever used. ;( If iOS 7 till iOS 10 only can choose one version, I would choose 9.3.5 because this version is more stable.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

And can be jailbroken (9.3.5) lol /S

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 21785; Member since: May 28, 2014

Once again: Karma--her pimp hand--baby powder--Apple's face. And NO, me saying this doesn't mean I'm "ignorant" of how well Apple is doing, like some people would have you believe. The people that believe that are the ignorant ones. All it means is that Apple is now reaping what it has sewn. Apple should definitely be held fully accountable for its actions if they did this.

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Someone give the guy a biscuit for participation.

20. meanestgenius

Posts: 21785; Member since: May 28, 2014

Someone give the little girl an eggplant to shove down her throat. She^^just loves her some eggplants!

21. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Just like you like to shove those "sausages" down your throat. Well that and sacks.

7. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3101; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

14. sissy246

Posts: 7087; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Needing that butt hurt cream

10. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

It's nothing personal sheeps, it's just business.

11. GoGoGalaxyNexus

Posts: 80; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

Apple fans don't care about this, they just want their stupid apples on the back on their phones. Being forced to upgrade by breaking one of the things that every apple user talks about...their stupid facetime (video call in the real world). How many iphone users had to get a new Iphone because of the update? How many people complaint they couldn't use their iphones because the update make their phones so slow that they had to upgrade? It's ridiculous but hey, you get what you love isheeps

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apple no longer has the cloak of protection of the US Gov't. It is now open season on Apple. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gun them down with so many lawsuits. We already know Apple breaks stuff on purpose and then lies and fixes it later. Example, when Steve Jobs was in the house, Steve forced his engineering team to remove heat sinks from the Mac at the time. I believe it was the G3 or G4. BEcause the Mac has no active cooling, the CPU would get so hot, it would melt the capacitors next to it. One guy sued Apple saying it wasn't his fault, but it was a bad design. Apple was charging for this repair, but after the suit had to refund everyone who paid and fix it all for free. The same as they did with the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs admitted they saw a problem with the antenna, but he said y felt it was no big deal. But as a backup Apple made a "case" sort of, that happen to cover the sides and they tried to sell it as an accessory. But after the complainants came in, to prevent being sued, they gave the accessory away for free, They also knew the iPhone had a structural flaw. They released it anyways. Then refuse to replace the phones when people brought them back. Now the issue adds and is part of the cause of touch disease which Apple is being sued for. Then Apple purposely bricked phones that were repaired by a 3rd party, which is also illegal. Voiding a warranty is not. If I take my car to another place and is worked on, if they break it, then I have to deal with them on a legal level, but my car manufacturer can't cripple my car for doing so. These are things Apple has done that are illegal and morally wrong, yet the fans here suck Apple like a nipple on a bottle or poop. The are overall a good company, buns overlooking their blatant misdeed, but so quick to call out other company's makes you all hypocrites and trolls and you have nerve to ever call anyone else out. I hope every tech company on this planet sues them out of business and the tech world won't miss them. I cant think of any company that's like Apple. They just like their money.

17. Tipus

Posts: 856; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

calm down bro.. i'm not apple fan too, but why hate this much?

18. Rangerboy505

Posts: 22; Member since: Sep 09, 2016

Iso 6 was my favourite of any phone I've owned, pissed me off when I had to upgrade.

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