What just happened? Sitting behind Saudi Aramco as the second most valuable company in the world means Apple has to deal with a lot of lawsuits. It doesn’t win them all but found a victory in Florida after a court dismissed a case claiming it intentionally broke FaceTime on older iPhones.
As reported by MacRumors, a class-action lawsuit was launched in California against Apple back in 2017 that claimed it purposely broke FaceTime in iOS 6, forcing users onto iOS 7. It was alleged that this meant Apple would avoid having to pay Akami for using its servers. In addition to dealing with that case, a similar lawsuit was brought against the company last August in Florida.
Apple settled the California suit in February, but a federal court this week ruled that the claims in the Florida case “are untimely and must be dismissed.” The judge, Raag Singhal, said the complainants had several chances to file suit against Apple but waited too long to lodge their complaints.
When FaceTime launched in 2010, it used two technologies to connect iPhones: a peer-to-peer method that used a direct connection, and a “relay method” that used Akami’s servers. But in 2012, Apple’s peer-to-peer tech was found to infringe on VirnetX’s patents, forcing it to switch entirely to the relay method.
The VirnetX trial revealed that Apple was paying $50 million per year in fees to Akami, so to save money, it created a new peer-to-peer system for FaceTime that arrived in iOS 7.
The lawsuits claimed Apple created a bug that caused an important digital certificate to expire early, thereby breaking FaceTime on iOS 6 and forcing people to upgrade to iOS 7.