Science and Tech


Apple Sued Over iMessage Bug Causing Undelivered Texts

The suit claims iOS interferes with normal SMS operation and is seeking unspecified damages in district court.
Posted at 9:59 AM, May 17, 2014

For once, it’s not Samsung: This time, Apple is facing a potential class action lawsuit, which alleges iPhone users who switch to a non-Apple device can stop receiving their text messages. (Via Northern California U.S. District Court)

The suit was brought by a former iPhone user. According to 9to5Mac, it claims Apple failed to disclose that switching to a device other than one running on Apple’s iOS operating system would result in the interference.” (Via 9to5Mac)

Despite the suit’s language, Apple doesn’t appear to be intentionally “penalizing” former iDevice users.  

When two iPhone users message each other, iOS defaults to its built-in iMessage application to make messaging a little cheaper for both parties.

If one person switches to, say, Android, iMessage never gets the memo to switch back to standard SMS. A sender will see their iMessages going through, but they’ll never show up on the recipient’s phone.

“The issue appears to be on a device level, meaning each and every current iPhone user's device thinks the new Android user is still using an Apple handset.” (Via CNET)

The problem has been around since iOS 5, but some reports indicate Apple’s engineers still don’t know how to fix it, short of deactivating iMessage or having individual iPhone users remove you from their contacts — an obnoxious measure, by many accounts. (Via iDownloadBlog)

CNET called that response “cumbersome.” Android Authority says it’s “hardly a solution.”

The suit doesn’t specify the damages it’s looking for. It’s seeking class-action status under unfair competition laws in California’s Northern District Court.