Apple to pay $18M to settle class action lawsuit over FaceTime imbroglio

Apple has agreed an $18 million deal to settle a class action lawsuit in California that accused it of intentionally breaking FaceTime on older iPhones.

FaceTime lawsuit. Image: Apple's Group FaceTime
Apple’s Group FaceTime

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

Through the settlement, 90% of the class action members will receive compensation, either through the mail or electronically. 3.6 million devices are said to have been affected by the update, and each class member will receive an estimated $3.

The class action lawsuit in California accused Apple of intentionally breaking FaceTime on iPhones running older versions of iOS. Essentially, Apple switched the technical backend of FaceTime with iOS 7 to lower its server costs. “That decision left iPhone users stuck with a choice between a sluggish device or losing the ability to use FaceTime,” the [Law360] report explains.

MacDailyNews Take: Class action members, don’t spend it all in one place!

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. — MacDailyNews, February 3, 2017


  1. As of April 16, 2014, FaceTime ceased working on earlier versions of iOS which had previously supported it (iOS 4, 5 & 6). This was because the client-side certificate used to authenticate a genuine Apple device with FaceTime servers (amongst other uses) expired on that date.

    iPhone 3GS (released June 19, 2009) was 5 years 10 months old by that time.

  2. Yes! Apple’s crack legal team has won again! (extreme sarcasm intended)

    Apple’s legal team has not had a clear, decisive win since the Franklin case.

    Apple’s lawyers could not even convince the courts that systems constantly get updated and old systems get left behind. It’s been that way since the 1970s (and maybe before–I was barely into computing in the mid 60s). Apple’s lawyers should have been able to list hundreds (maybe thousands) of such cases with no viable legal action taken against any of the companies involved.

    The lawyers bringing the suit will make out extremely well. The members of the class get $3 each. Sounds like a typical class action suit these days: no one gets any rreal benefit except the lawyers.

    1. “Apple’s lawyers should have been able to list hundreds (maybe thousands) of such cases with no viable legal action taken against any of the companies involved.” I doubt if that evidence would even be allowed. They can only argue the merits of the specific case. I’m guessing Apple figures $18 million is chump change for them, and it’s cheaper to just settle than to continue the fight.

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