Fresh off their patent infringement lawsuit win over Samsung, Apple appears to be heading back to court. This time, however, there are much bigger stakes. Although the monetary amount of the suit is sure to be but a drop in the bucket, Apple stands to take a major hit in public perception. The lawsuit, officially Moore v. Apple Inc., 14-cv-02269, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose), has to do with the iPhone’s iMessage service.
According to the suit, “Apple’s iMessage retains text messages sent from other users of Apple devices and won’t deliver them to her Samsung Electronics Co. phone running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system….People who replace their Apple devices with non-Apple wireless phones and tablets are “penalized and unable to obtain the full benefits of their wireless-service contracts,” according to the complaint.”1
This has long been a problem. According to several different reports, this happens rather often. In what was probably the most visible recent example of this, former Editor in Chief of Lifehacker, Adam Pash, wrote a blog post about his experience. According to Pash, after jumping through the the various hoops, an Apple tech support employee told him:
- This is a problem a lot of people are facing.
- The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it.
- There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat.2
According to the Bloomberg article, the lawsuit seeks a class-action status, and is based on contractual interference and unfair competition laws. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The onus is on Apple now.
- Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg Tech, “Apple Sued Over Vanishing Texts After IPhones Swapped Out,” 16 May 2014 ▲
- Adam Pash, Adampash.com, “iMessage purgatory,” 13 May 2014 ▲