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Why Is Apple In Legal Trouble?

Previous customer attempts class action lawsuit over iMessage

Nicole Billitz
Why Is Apple In Legal Trouble?© 2023 Wikimedia Commons

Apple once again has a federal lawsuit at it’s door. Filed in May, Adrienne Moore, a former iPhone user, switched to Android and lost all her iMessages. She is seeking damages and hopes to make the lawsuit a class action.

The iMessage service, is an encrypted network that can only be accessed from Apple devices. In theory, however, the user sends and iMessage to another Apple device, and it doesn’t use the data plan, so as to save money. When the message fails to send as an iMessage, it is rerouted as a text message. Since iOS 5, iPhone users have often not received their texts from iMessage when switching to an Android device. So when Apple users switch to their phones, they assume that there messages are delivered, and are often notified of “delivery”, when they are not. Additionally, it has happened that the user never received messages. Since then, Apple has released an online fix to iMessage.

Moore will argue that this violates a California unfair competition law, because of disruptions in a customer’s wireless service contract. As reported by CNET, she claims that “Apple failed to communicate this problem and obstructed the use of her new Samsung Galaxy S5. She'd activated the new phone under her existing Verizon Wireless contract after switching from an old iPhone 4 in April of this year”.

As she is hoping to make this a class action lawsuit, it would mean that any monetary amount awarded to her would then be awarded to all who were affected by the iMessage issue and follow suit. The presiding judge will be U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who also presided over the case between Samsung and Apple last year. According to CNET, "The plaintiff does not have to allege an absolute right to receive every text message in order to allege that Apple's intentional acts have caused an 'actual breach or disruption of the contractual relationship,'" Koh wrote. 

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