Judge gives greenlight to class action suit claiming Apple 'broke' FaceTime

Posted:
in iPhone
A class action lawsuit charging that Apple deliberately "broke" FaceTime on older iPhones can continue, a U.S. District judge has ruled, tossing out an Apple motion to dismiss.




Judge Lucy Koh turned down the motion in a late Friday ruling, according to Reuters, specfically rejecting an Apple argument that the plaintiffs in the case had suffered no financial loss since FaceTime is a free service.

"FaceTime is a 'feature' of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone's cost," Koh said in a footnote of her ruling. "Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as 'one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.'"

After losing a lawsuit to VirnetX -- which claimed FaceTime was violating patents -- the company began routing calls through Akamai servers, spending $50 million in one six-month period alone. The plaintiffs in the current case charge that Apple disabled FaceTime on devices running iOS 6 or earlier in April 2014, doing so simply because it was able to create a cheaper alternative to Akamai in iOS 7.

At the time, Apple blamed a "bug" linked to an expired certificate, but subsequently revised its support pages to drop references to it. In emails from the VirnetX suit, Apple engineers said they were aware the company "did something in April around iOS 6 to reduce relay utilization," making direct references to Akamai and users having to upgrade to iOS 7 to get FaceTime back.

Most iPhones and iPads were already on iOS 7 by the time FaceTime stopped working with iOS 6, but 11 percent were still on the old OS -- likely because of performance concerns and missing features on older devices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    When Apple introduced FaceTime, they also advertised it as being open-source and they hoped the entire industry would adopt it. Guess who never open-sourced it?
    ferdchetjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 19
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,902member
    When Apple introduced FaceTime, they also advertised it as being open-source and they hoped the entire industry would adopt it. Guess who never open-sourced it?
    No, because it will be no longer secured if it's open to Android. I was glad that Apple keep it exclusively to iDevices.
    anton zuykovsergiozmwhitedavenwatto_cobralostkiwipscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 3 of 19
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,902member


    "FaceTime is a 'feature' of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone's cost," Koh said in a footnote of her ruling. "Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as 'one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.'"


    This's how the stupid judge interpreted technology. LOL. FaceTime is not a feature of the iPhone, you moron. It's a feature of the iOS and iOS features got added and removed over time. This is how fcked up US justice system is: if you give someone something free, they may sue you if that doesn't work according to their expectation...as a free stuff...Yeah, how stupid that sounds!
    edited July 2017 mwhitepujones1watto_cobrajbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 4 of 19
    It's true iOS 7 had performance problems on older iPhones, but it's also true that the 7.1 update that provided fixes for that came out before FaceTime stopped working on iOS 6. 
    jbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 5 of 19
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 297member
    At some point this judge needs to be investigated. Seems she always sides against apple. Does she own a bunch of google stock? Or maybe she lost her shirt on blackberry and is taking it out on apple.

    MacProwatto_cobralostkiwijbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 19
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,244member
    fallenjt said:


    "FaceTime is a 'feature' of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone's cost," Koh said in a footnote of her ruling. "Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as 'one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.'"


    This's how the stupid judge interpreted technology. LOL. FaceTime is not a feature of the iPhone, you moron. It's a feature of the iOS and iOS features got added and removed over time. This is how fcked up US justice system is: if you give someone something free, they may sue you if that doesn't work according to their expectation...as a free stuff...Yeah, how stupid that sounds!
    Chill dude... iPhone and iOS do go together.  You can't have one without the other while I'm not a fan of judge Koh, I see where she's coming from.

    I remember reading an article a few years ago about the FaceTime fiasco.  It contained confidential emails/messages involving Apple engineers discussing the cost of using Akamai during the transition off the infringing IP.  Even I thought how Apple did it was sketchy to say the least as it referenced the engineers purposely "breaking" it in iOS6 and forcing everyone to iOS7 leaving some in the dust.  I don't remember much more of the details and I can't find that article I read.  I can totally understand Apple not wanting to be paying Akamai millions of dollars per day for going through their servers, but I think it could have been handled differently.

    Dunno... it was a complex situation that Apple was in.
    welshdog
  • Reply 7 of 19
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,915member
    So, how many people can document they were affected by the change? How many iPhones purchased prior to 2014 are still in active use? Another payout to lawyers since I can see very few people actually qualifying for this and we all know the payout to affected users will be peanuts compared to the payout to the lawyers (and to Judge Koh).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    ktappektappe Posts: 753member
    fallenjt said:
    FaceTime is not a feature of the iPhone, you moron. It's a feature of the iOS and iOS features got added and removed over time.
    You and Apple can claim that all you want. And technically that's true. The problem is, and the judge noted, Apple distinctly advertised FaceTime as a feature of the iPhone. That means part of the $ customers paid for the iPhone went to FaceTime. It wasn't "free". When Apple took FaceTime away, it took away features it had used to sell the iPhone. That's not legal. Apple *chose* to disable FaceTime on phones that had it previously worked on. They didn't have to do that. And that's what the lawsuit is about.
    edited July 2017 zoetmb
  • Reply 9 of 19
    If you're still using a device that is 7 years old you should seriously rethink your whole life, this is just a clear example of how low some people can go for a few bucks.
    watto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 19
    jcallowsjcallows Posts: 142member
    judge lucy koh rules against apple?  what a shocker.
    watto_cobralostkiwijbdragon
  • Reply 11 of 19
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,575member
    alexrocks said:
    If you're still using a device that is 7 years old you should seriously rethink your whole life, this is just a clear example of how low some people can go for a few bucks.
    Hey now!    Im still on an iPhone 4 and love this little device.   I got really turned off with Apples iPhone line up as they went larger and larger.  Only now am i seriously considering an upgrade, not for size but rather speed and a better camera.  

    Your implication that people using old hardware are cheap is just foolish.  There are many reasons to stick with what works for you.  
  • Reply 12 of 19
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 139member
    fallenjt said:


    "FaceTime is a 'feature' of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone's cost," Koh said in a footnote of her ruling. "Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as 'one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.'"


    This's how the stupid judge interpreted technology. LOL. FaceTime is not a feature of the iPhone, you moron. It's a feature of the iOS and iOS features got added and removed over time. This is how fcked up US justice system is: if you give someone something free, they may sue you if that doesn't work according to their expectation...as a free stuff...Yeah, how stupid that sounds!
    You're right. This is why restaurants waste good food at the end of the business day instead of being able to give it away. Some hungry idiot would try to sue them on a full belly.

    Good old judge Koh. Lmao!!
  • Reply 13 of 19
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 258member
    rob53 said:
    So, how many people can document they were affected by the change? How many iPhones purchased prior to 2014 are still in active use? Another payout to lawyers since I can see very few people actually qualifying for this and we all know the payout to affected users will be peanuts compared to the payout to the lawyers (and to Judge Koh).
    Since this is a class action lawsuit and the plaintiffs win then Apple will be required to provide a list of owners of registered iPhones and probably iPads that qualify. A letter will be sent to all of them and those who choose to receive the payout will be paid an equal amount of the settlement after the attorneys (biggest cut) and the original plaintiffs. No proof of harm for the class is required, only by the original plaintiffs.

    I get letters showing I'm part of a class suit all the time. The payouts have been from $0.97 to $145.00. The amount of the settlement is determined in the trial so the amount each member of the class gets is determined by the number of members who accept the terms. By accepting the terms as a class member you don't increase the settlement amount.

    Do I think Apple is liable for damages for a class action here? NO. It shouldn't be a class action suit. Am I likely to be a member of the class as an owner of the equipment mentioned in the class? YES Will I accept the payout? YES. Why shouldn't I? If I don't someone else will get a larger share instead. It sounds greedy. Maybe it is. It will help pay for my new iPhone 8 though!
  • Reply 14 of 19
    When Apple introduced FaceTime, they also advertised it as being open-source and they hoped the entire industry would adopt it. Guess who never open-sourced it?
    Nope.  That was iChat.  But the industry didn't adopt it, Microsoft bought Skype, and the world continued to go around and around.   But why did Apple do away with iChat?  It supported multi-party video chat, which I found useful.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    I have an old Samsung "smart" TV that came with a range of apps that were sold as a main part of the TV experience... Recently, they're dropped support for things like the Youtube app - in fact most of the apps don't work any more. Can I now sue Samsung for billions? :wink: 
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Oh noes!!! I can't install OS X High Sierra on my Mac SE/30! I better sue!!!
  • Reply 17 of 19
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,865member
    So Apple dropped Facetime support on a OLD iOS version because they wanted to stop infringing on some IP. They get get sued because of it. You can't win no matter what you do.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    zeromeuszeromeus Posts: 181member
    As soon as I read the title, I knew the judge would be Koh and the plaintiff a Californian.  These snowflakes are the result of an administration that produce/enable freeloaders to sue and cry over things that they don't get for free at someone else's expense.  Apple is a business.  If one of their products no longer make money, they have every right to stop supporting that product.  If a product ends up costing them money, there is no reason why they should continue supporting it.  iOS 6 is over three years old now.  Upgrade to the latest iOS that your product supports and stop whining.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 19 of 19
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    joebloggs said:
    Nope.  That was iChat.
    Nope, that was FaceTime.


    As for your other point, IS iChat's multi-video chat really gone? Or do people just not use it anymore because they've mostly migrated from AIM to iMessage? What about iChat Theater? I think that was fully superseded by AirDrop and AirPlay (well, sort of).
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