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Apple Lawsuit Over iMessage Blocking To Android Thrown Out

December 24, 2015 - Written By Daniel Fuller

 

A while back, a class action lawsuit was initiated against Apple, claiming that Apple’s iMessage app caught messages on their way from iDevices to Android devices and blocked them from being sent. The suit was brought on by a few disgruntled ex-owners of iPhones. They claimed that, after switching to Android in 2012, messages sent by their iPhone-toting friends were not reaching them. Some Android owners found this issue so inconvenient that they simply went back to iOS. Apple issued a fix for the error in November of 2014 after hearing complaints from a great number of users that switched from iOS to Android. After two years, a major bug had finally been squashed, leaving many users wondering what took so long.

When the suit was originally filed, Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung vs. Apple drama not too long ago, ruled against the plaintiffs, refusing to give the case class action status. Yesterday, she threw out the case entirely as it could not be proven that this bug was intentional on Apple’s part. It was found that two of the plaintiffs actually got rid of their iPhones after filing suit, leaving them unable to demonstrate the issue. Although this is a fairly egregious bug, these users were alleging that Apple was doing it on purpose and delayed sending out a fix in order to compel Apple users who switched to Android to return. The plaintiffs claimed that Apple blocking messages intentionally was a violation of Federal Wire Tap Act.

Between 2012 and 2014, those switching from Apple to Android experienced the glitch en masse, allegedly from the iCloud service. Apple’s iMessage would supposedly latch onto a number and restrict it in undisclosed ways, which resulted in those numbers not receiving messages from Apple devices after switching to Android. Apple and telecom employees supposedly told Business Insider that fixing the glitch wasn’t exactly a priority, since Apple users that switched were so frustrated with the inability to receive their messages that they simply switched back to Apple. This rough workaround left the problem as “solved enough” and everybody involved simply moved on. There were many who clung to Android and searched desperately for workarounds, including the few that banded with the plaintiffs in this case in thinking that Apple intended the bug to bring Android chasers back to the Apple fold, but the legal implications of that line of thinking have, as of yesterday, officially come up empty.