Apple to Pay $18 Million to Settle California Lawsuit Claiming Apple ‘Broke’ FaceTime on Older iPhones to Save Costs

Apple has agreed to pay $18 million to settle a California class-action lawsuit that accused it of intentionally breaking FaceTime in iOS 6 to force users to upgrade to iOS 7.


According to the lawsuit, originally filed in 2017, Apple forced users to upgrade so it could avoid payments on a data deal with Akamai.

Apple used two connection methods when it launched ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ in 2010: a peer-to-peer method that created a direct connection between two iPhones, and a relay method that used data servers from content delivery network company Akamai Technologies.

Apple’s peer-to-peer ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ technology was found to infringe on VirnetX’s patents in 2012, however, so the company began to shift toward the relay method, which used Akamai’s servers. Within a year, Apple was paying $50 million in fees to Akamai, according to testimony from the VirnetX trial.

Apple eventually solved the problem by creating new peer-to-peer technology that would debut in iOS 7. The class-action lawsuits, however, alleged that Apple created a fake bug that caused a digital certificate to prematurely expire on April 16, 2014, breaking ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ on iOS 6.

The lawsuit claimed that breaking ‌‌FaceTime‌‌ in iOS 6 allowed Apple to save money because it would no longer need to support users who did not upgrade to iOS 7.

According to Law360.com, Apple agreed to settle the case with the $18 million payout, although the majority of the money will go to paying attorney fees and expenses, with only a fraction going to the class action’s representatives and claimants.

A court in Florida dismissed a similar consumer lawsuit earlier this year alleging Apple broke ‌FaceTime‌ on older iPhones to save costs.

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Florida Court Dismisses Lawsuit Claiming Apple ‘Broke’ FaceTime on Older iPhones to Save Costs

A court in Florida has dismissed a consumer lawsuit alleging that Apple intentionally “broke” FaceTime on older iPhones as a cost-saving measure (via Bloomberg Law).


In 2017, a similar class-action lawsuit was brought against Apple in California that claimed Apple broke ‌FaceTime‌ in iOS 6 to force users to upgrade to iOS 7. According to the lawsuit, Apple forced users to upgrade so it could avoid payments on a data deal with Akamai.

Apple agreed in February to settle the lawsuit in California, but the federal court in the Florida case ruled on Tuesday that the claims against Apple did not meet timeliness requirements. According to U.S. District Court Judge Raag Singhal, the complainants had several chances to file suit against Apple, but didn’t lodge their complaint until August 2019.

Apple used two connection methods when it launched ‌FaceTime‌ in 2010: a peer-to-peer method that created a direct connection between two iPhones, and a relay method that used data servers from content delivery network company Akamai Technologies.

Apple’s peer-to-peer ‌FaceTime‌ technology was found to infringe on VirnetX’s patents in 2012, however, so the company began to shift toward the relay method, which used Akamai’s servers. Within a year, Apple was paying $50 million in fees to Akamai, according to testimony from the VirnetX trial.

Apple eventually solved the problem by creating new peer-to-peer technology that would debut in iOS 7. The class-action lawsuits, however, alleged that Apple created a fake bug that caused a digital certificate to prematurely expire on April 16, 2014, breaking ‌FaceTime‌ on iOS 6.

The lawsuits claimed that breaking ‌FaceTime‌ in iOS 6 allowed Apple to save money because it would no longer need to support users who did not upgrade to iOS 7.

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CBS Drama ‘All Rise’ Will Use FaceTime and Zoom to Film New Episode Amid Social Distancing

Many television shows and movies have paused filming at the current time as people practice social distancing, which has delayed new movies and television content. One CBS drama series, “All Rise,” has a unique solution, though, and plans to film in actors’ homes.


“All Rise” will use programs like FaceTime, WebEX, and Zoom, along with “other available social media and online technology,” according to TVLine. The episode, which will focus on current events, will feature footage recorded by each of the series regulars within their homes, with the judge virtually presiding over a bench trial in an episode that mirrors current events.

“It’s a unique chance for our All Rise family to band together – in our different homes, even cities – to tell a story about resilience, justice and the power of community,” executive producer Greg Spottiswood said in a statement.

Virtual footage will be shot in each of the series regular’s homes, with VFX added in post production to create the necessary backgrounds. A cinematographer operating solo from a vehicle will capture exterior footage representing “the desolate environment that currently exists on the streets and in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles.”

The episode is set to air on Monday, May 4, and if it goes well, we could see other TV studios adopting similar techniques using software and hardware from Apple and other technology companies to create content remotely.

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iOS 13.4 and macOS 10.15.4 Prevent FaceTime Calls From Working With Some Older iPhones and iPads Amid Pandemic

Newer devices running Apple’s recently released iOS 13.4 and macOS 10.15.4 software updates are currently unable to make FaceTime audio and video calls with older devices running iOS 9.3.5 or iOS 9.3.6, according to numerous users across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Reddit, and Twitter.


Apple normally recommends that users who cannot make or receive FaceTime calls update their devices to the latest software version, but iOS 9.3.5 or iOS 9.3.6 are the last supported software versions for several older devices, including the iPad 2, third-generation iPad, iPhone 4S, the first-generation iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Devices running iOS 13.3.1 or macOS 10.15.3 can still make FaceTime calls with older devices, so it is unclear if this is a bug introduced with iOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or if this was an intentional decision. Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment, but we will update this story if we hear back.

In any case, the timing of this is unfortunate due to the ongoing pandemic. Many affected users have mentioned being unable to reach their grandparents who still use an older iPad, for example, during a time when social distancing is strongly recommended. Hopefully it proves to be a simple bug that is resolved in short order.


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