California class action lawsuit claims Apple forced users to iOS 7 by breaking FaceTime

“A class-action lawsuit filed in California on Thursday alleges Apple schemed to force iPhone users to upgrade to iOS 7 in a bid to save money on a data services deal with Akamai, a move that rendered older hardware like iPhone 4 and 4S unusable,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Seemingly spawned from internal Apple documents disclosed during the VirnetX patent infringement lawsuit,” Campbell reports, “which found Apple on the hook for $302.4 million in damages, the California action claims Apple intentionally broke FaceTime for devices running iOS 6 and earlier to avoid high monthly data relay charges from Akamai.”

“Citing internal emails and sworn testimony from the VirnetX trial, the lawsuit alleges Apple devised a plan to ‘break’ FaceTime on iOS 6 or earlier by causing a vital digital certificate to prematurely expire. Apple supposedly implemented the ‘FaceTime Break’ on April 16, 2014, then blamed the sudden incompatibility on a bug, the lawsuit claims,” Campbell reports. “Users looking to make FaceTime calls were left with little choice but to upgrade to iOS 7…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iOS 7 was supported on devices as old as iPhone 4 and iPad 2, so, if the claims are true, the only valid complainers would’ve had to have iPhone 3GS or older iPhones in September 2013 when iOS 7 was released (the first-generation iPad had no cameras, negating its ability to use FaceTime). iPhone 3GS was released June 19, 2009, so these oh-so-aggrieved users were packing at least 4.5-year old iPhones when Apple supposedly conspired to “break” FaceTime.

In other words: Puleeze.


  1. Complete bullshit. The basic lack of technical competence from some people is mind boggling to me. iOS 7 worked perfectly fine on iPhone 4 & 4s devices. MDN take is right on.

    1. Only ‘free’ for Apple if using p2p mode. Charges piled up for Apple in ‘relay’ mode that used Akamai servers (~5% usage prior to losing the patent case with VirnetX, 100% after).

  2. Reading the source article it appears the primary charge is about forcing the upgrade to iOS7 and one side effect was rendering iPhone 4/4S devices unusable.

    2 methods existed in iOS6 for Facetime, a peer-to-peer mode that was in violation of a patent owned by VirnetX and a relay mode that used Akamai servers. In response to losing the patent infringement case, Apple shifted usage from p2p to relay which meant higher total charges from Akamai for services rendered. iOS7 uses a p2p technology that did not infringe on the VirnetX patent so the core charge of the case is Apple intentionally accelerated the expiration of the security certificate that FaceTime depended on, blamed it on a bug, forcing users to upgrade to iOS7. A side effect of doing so ‘broke’ FaceTime for 4/4Ss owners.

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