Apple may have released a fix for the phone-switching iMessage fiasco, but it looks like the company will have to face a federal lawsuit filed by former iPhone owner Adrienne Moore over the issue. The lawsuit claims Apple failed to inform its customers that the iMessage messaging system would block them from receiving messages from other iOS users if they switch to a non-Apple mobile device like an Android or a Windows Phone smartphone.
Introduced back in 2011, iMessage allows iPhone users to communicate over data networks and Wi-Fi instead of their respective telecom networks. To achieve this, the service keeps track of users' phone numbers. However, after a user switches from an iPhone to another device without turning off the service, iMessages sent from other iPhones are routed to their deactivated iPhone, rather than being delivered as normal text messages to their active phone.
Moore experienced just this when she switched to a Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone from an iPhone 4 under her existing Verizon Wireless contract in April. She says that the problem led to disruptions in her wireless service contract, and violated a California unfair competition law.
US District Judge Lucy Koh believes Moore deserves a chance to prove her claims. "Plaintiff does not have to allege an absolute right to receive every text message in order to allege that Apple's intentional acts have caused an actual breach or disruption of the contractual relationship", Koh said.
For its part, Apple said it never promised that its iMessage service and Messages application would recognize when a user switched to a different platform. "Apple takes customer satisfaction extremely seriously, but the law does not provide a remedy when, as here, technology simply does not function as plaintiff subjectively believes it should", the company said.