Apr 29, 2020

Apple Accused Of Breaking FaceTime On Older iPhones, To Pay $18 Million

Apple has formally reached a settlement agreement to pay $18 million to a class-action lawsuit in California, which accuses Apple of deliberately breaking FaceTime features on older iPhones, reports Law360.com.

The case accused Apple of purposely breaking the FaceTime capability on iPhones running older iOS versions. In essence, Apple has ousted the FaceTime technology line on iOS 7 to offset its server costs.


When FaceTime was first introduced, two technologies could be used. The first one uses a point-to-point format to directly distribute audio and video to users. The other uses a relay mode, which relies on a third-party server, Akami, to retrieve data between users.

However, in 2012, Apple was found to infringe on VirnetX's peer-to-peer technology patents, which required the company to turn all FaceTime calls and data into a relay method.

Such developments caused Apple to research how to bring down the cost of FaceTime, which led Apple to create a new peer-to-peer interface without violating VirnetX's patents. New technology debuted in iOS 7, but the lawsuit alleges that Apple knew that new technology would compel people to update to iOS 7 or break FaceTime on iOS 6 by causing major digital certificates to expire prematurely.

Through the settlement, 90% of the class action's claimants will receive compensation through mail or electronic means. It is said that 3.6 million devices have been affected, thus, each claimant will receive about $3 in compensation. The case was originally scheduled for trial this month.

The class action member is defined as all California users of Apple iPhone 4 or 4s devices using iOS 6 or earlier operating systems. A 30% settlement payment will be held by the class lawsuit lawyer, whilst the two original plaintiffs will each receive $ 7,500.

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