Apple faces a lawsuit after burying text messages sent to people who had the audacity to swap their iPhones for handsets from other makers than the fruity firm. The problem – now fixed – related to the company's iMessage app.
US district judge Lucy Koh has ruled that the Cupertino giant will face charges of unfair competition for its handling of texts sent to those who switched to Android, Windows Phone or any other non-iThing.
Texts sent between iOS devices are routed over Apple's iMessage service across the internet; if someone stops using an iPhone and starts using, say, a Samsung Galaxy handset but keeps the same cell number, messages sent to that person via iMessage will never be delivered to the Android phone – until the ex-iPhone user de-registers from the service.
Adrienne Moore switched her iPhone 4 for a Galaxy S5 and, according to Judge Koh, allegedly "failed to receive 'countless' text messages sent to her from Apple device users". On Monday, Judge Koh ruled [PDF] that Moore can go ahead with a claim against Apple for failing to disclose its policies on devices not associated with its network.
(Yes, that's the same Judge Koh overseeing Apple and Samsung's epic legal battles.)
Apple's legalese says those who decide to move on from their iPhones to Android or other mobile platforms do not have their sessions switched from iMessage by default. As a result, former iFans haven't been receiving messages from other Apple users unless they manually enable SMS messages. Apple has set up a website to deactivate iMessage, but that is not enough, it seems.
Apple had attempted to have the complaint dismissed, a motion Judge Koh struck down.
"The plaintiff has sufficiently alleged an injury-in-fact ... to survive a motion to dismiss," the judge wrote in her order.
"The plaintiff alleges that Apple’s interference with the receipt of her text messages deprived her of the full benefit of her contractual bargain with Verizon Wireless." ®