Lawsuit Claims Apple Broke FaceTime to Force iOS 7 Upgrades
Lawsuit Claims Apple Broke FaceTime to Force iOS 7 Upgrades
Class action lawsuit claims Apple intentionally broke FaceTime on iOS 6 to push users towards iOS 7
05 February, 2017, 01:27
A class-action lawsuit filed Thursday in California claims that Apple forced iPhone users to upgrade to the iOS 7 operating system by "breaking" the FaceTime feature in iOS 6. This is where Apple allegedly put its foot down and broke the FaceTime app, calling it a bug and forcing those users to upgrade to iOS 7 (if they wanted FaceTime to work). This forced iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users to dump their smartphones.
While this may not sound like a big deal, it was not uncommon to hear from a number of users that iOS 7 did slow down older devices like the iPhone 4 and 4s, devices which Apple still continued to sell in markets like India, despite being slow out of the box thanks to newer software. Though the OS is compatible with older smartphones, they are erratic and not bug-free. Those with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are advised to stay on iOS 10.1.1 as that is now the only version of iOS which can be jailbroken on the said devices. From iOS 6 and earlier, Apple used both a direction connection between two communicating iPhones along with Akamai's servers to provide users with the service. However, in 2012, a jury said Apple was violating patents held by security company VirnetX (vhc) in its peer-to-peer FaceTime calls and would therefore need to switch all of the traffic to relay method to avoid infringing VirnetX's patents. "As a result, Apple began to incur multi-million dollar monthly charges for its use of Akamai's servers". According to information made public in Apple's patent retrial with VirnetX previous year, the company incurred $50 million in fees between April 2013 and September 2013, coming out to around $8.3 million per month. The first used a peer-to-peer standard to directly transfer audio and video between users. "We broke iOS 6, and the only way to get FaceTime working again is to upgrade to iOS 7".
The lawsuit thus claims that Apple, in order to save on its costs, allegedly broke FaceTime on iOS 6 by causing the digital certificate to expire earlier than dated. The lawsuit alleges that Apple implemented the "FaceTime Break" on April 16, 2014, blaming the sudden incompatibility on a bug, and advising users that they would need to update to the latest version of iOS to resolve the issue.
While, Apple has effectively stopped signing iOS 10.2 jailbreak which implies you can't update, minimization, or reestablish to the firmware utilizing iTunes.
The lawsuit points out an email message subject "Ways to Reduce Relay Usage", and an email thread where an engineer asks about the Akamai contract.
Engineer 1: "Hey, guys".
As per Apple's own statistics as fished out by Apple Insider, only 11 percent of devices were running iOS 6 back in April 2014.
In mid-2017, iOS 10.2 jailbreak Beta 6 was released a week ago supporting the vast majority of the 64-bit gadgets with the exception of iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPad Air. The problem? Some older devices, like any iPhone 4 still in use in 2014, couldn't handle the upgrade. The suit cites media reports of "widespread functionality problems" at the time.
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