Apple to Pay $18 Million to Settle California Lawsuit Claiming Apple 'Broke' FaceTime on Older iPhones to Save Costs

Apple has agreed to pay $18 million to settle a California class-action lawsuit that accused it of intentionally breaking FaceTime in iOS 6 to force users to upgrade to iOS 7.

facetime e1486093308787
According to the lawsuit, originally filed in 2017, Apple forced users to upgrade so it could avoid payments on a data deal with Akamai.

Apple used two connection methods when it launched ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ in 2010: a peer-to-peer method that created a direct connection between two iPhones, and a relay method that used data servers from content delivery network company Akamai Technologies.

Apple's peer-to-peer ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ technology was found to infringe on VirnetX's patents in 2012, however, so the company began to shift toward the relay method, which used Akamai's servers. Within a year, Apple was paying $50 million in fees to Akamai, according to testimony from the VirnetX trial.

Apple eventually solved the problem by creating new peer-to-peer technology that would debut in iOS 7. The class-action lawsuits, however, alleged that Apple created a fake bug that caused a digital certificate to prematurely expire on April 16, 2014, breaking ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ on iOS 6.

The lawsuit claimed that breaking ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ in iOS 6 allowed Apple to save money because it would no longer need to support users who did not upgrade to iOS 7.

According to Law360.com, Apple agreed to settle the case with the $18 million payout, although the majority of the money will go to paying attorney fees and expenses, with only a fraction going to the class action's representatives and claimants.

A court in Florida dismissed a similar consumer lawsuit earlier this year alleging Apple broke ‌FaceTime‌ on older iPhones to save costs.

Top Rated Comments

Kabeyun Avatar
28 months ago
So one suit settled for chump change (that naturally went to the lawyers) and one suit dismissed outright. Not much to see here.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wanted797 Avatar
28 months ago

So one suit settled for chump change (that naturally went to the lawyers) and one suit dismissed outright. Not much to see here.
Why do you think Lawyers take on ridiculous class actions?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jgleigh Avatar
28 months ago
Are they going to sue for lack of 32-bit support in Catalina next? These lawsuits are ridiculous.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
enigmatut Avatar
28 months ago
I see this through two lenses:
[LIST=1]
* What was Apple’s intention/motive?
* What was the ultimate impact to the consumer?

Regarding #2, and apologies to a few of the posters here, I have no sympathy for those who could have resolved the issue by upgrading to iOS7 but chose not to. Having worked in software (in some form or another) for nearly 20 years I consistently see the calculus a company has to make with regards to pissing off the fewest customers, and in my experience there is always someone not happy, even if you bend over backwards with some alternative accommodation.
And bugs (or “bugs”, as it were) are oh so often fixed in newer versions, often times paid upgrades.
I have some sympathy for people whose device didn’t support iOS7, but that takes us back to the 3GS and original iPad, which I believe were such a low % of users at the time it was an easy calculation for Apple at the time.

NOW, regarding #1: v sh*tty of Apple to intentionally do this to save money, as alleged, and without some transparency (i.e., “due to our new wiz-bang technology FaceTime will only work on iOS7 and above starting on [x] date, and we’ve made sure iOS7 will work for you and you and you kind sir!”)

I’m no lawyer so I have to concede that if the case were not thrown out there must have been, at the very least, a compelling argument by the plaintiff that allowed it to move forward, and it entirely possible Apple has some department of tech law nerds who vet some decisions and arrive at the conclusion “yeah, maybe we’ll take some heat and have to settle for ... eh, $15-20 mil someday?” to which the execs say “ha! chump change! proceed, minions!
;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Six0Four Avatar
28 months ago

Very much so. I was one of them who hated iOS 7 so much, I refused to update my iPhone 4S for it. Then I lost FaceTime entirely when my family got iOS 7 on their devices.
Wow crazy. So i gotta ask, why continue to buy Apple products if you're so sure they screwed you ?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RalfTheDog Avatar
28 months ago
So Apple was accused of no longer supporting software because, the old software cost them money. I don't see the problem.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...