The data consumption habits of the average American demand constant connection, so when people find out that their friends finely crafted messages haven’t been reaching them; they’re bound to get upset. That’s the crux of a class action lawsuit recently levied at Apple, in which a former iPhone user contends that the company intentionally facilitated the destruction messages sent to her as a punishment for switching to an Android device.

The suit addresses known issues with Apple’s iMessaging platform. Currently, when an iMessaging account is tied to a particular phone number, other iPhones use a specific format to send messages to it, and those devices remember that the phone is an iPhone. However, if a person switches to an Android phone, those same iPhones will continue to send messages using the iPhone exclusive format, which means the new phone will not receive the messages until that association expires. That can take up to 30 days.

Mashable reports that complaint alleges that, “Apple tortiously interfered with the contract for cellular service between these putative class members and their cellular telephone carrier in that Apple’s actions prevented the subscribers from receiving all of their text messages, as they were entitled to obtain through their cellular wireless service contracts.” The complaint goes on to say that Apple should have warned user of the potential issues of switching.

The lawsuit is seeking class certification, and currently undetermined damages for the loss of the messages, it was filed in a San Jose, Calif. court.  Apple has not formally responded to the allegations, and though the company has been approached previously about the issue, it has reportedly refused to address the bug with any more than a work around.

Apple’s legal woes are generally related to its intellectual property spats with Android device manufacturers like Samsung, however this is not the first time it’s been the subject to consumer class action suits. No word yet on whether the alleged blocking of messages will result in additional legal action from those companies.


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