Apple accused of intentionally breaking FaceTime to force users into iOS upgrade

Apple has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit over allegations that it intentionally disabled its FaceTime video conferencing app to get users to update to a new mobile operating system.

Apple accused of intentionally breaking FaceTime to force users into iOS upgrade

Apple has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit over allegations that it intentionally disabled its FaceTime video conferencing app to get users to update to a new mobile operating system.

Christina Grace of California has the lawsuit that alleges Apple broke FaceTime in iOS 6 to force users to upgrade to iOS 7, AppleInsider reported.

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


The class action found its genesis in internal Apple documents and emails disclosed in the VirnetX patent infringement lawsuit, which eventually ended in Apple paying $302 million after a retrial.

Apple used two connection methods when launching 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 Akamai.

Apple only broke, or intentionally turned off, the app on those who were running iOS 6 or earlier versions of its mobile operating system, and appears to have only affected iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S owners.

The decision to turn off the app for those users, the class argues, was made so Apple could save money on charges related to calls made through the service by forcing users to upgrade to iOS 7.

Apple's FaceTime was introduced in 2010 as a way for users to make video calls with other iOS device owners. FaceTime also works with Macs, allowing users to place calls from mobile devices or computers and hold a full video chat.

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