Apple settles iOS 6 FaceTime lawsuit with $18m payment

Apple’s sights are set on rolling out new tech in 2020, but it was forced to pay $18m to settle a class-action lawsuit related to six-year-old FaceTime software on Wednesday.

Apple admitted defeat in challenging the lawsuit in January, but it has taken three more months for a settlement to be reached.

The lawsuit, which was raised back in 2017, claimed that Apple had forced users to upgrade to new iPhones following an update to iOS 7 that required new tech for video calls.

When FaceTime launched in 2010, users were able to use peer-to-peer tech to see and talk to friends and family.

However, a patent issued two years later meant that Apple began to pivot away from that method to a relay method that deploys data servers to support the feature.

The change meant that video calls ceased to function properly on iOS 6 and older iPhones, with some alleging that Apple used a fake bug to accelerate the switch.

The issue continued to rankle some users who believed that Apple deliberately sabotaged legacy devices in order to push them to buy new smartphones.

It took three years to raise the complaint, but Apple has struggled to shake off the lawsuit and it finally raised the white flag earlier this year.

The court ruled on Wednesday (29th April) that Apple must pay $18m in damages, which equates to around $3 for every customer in the US affected by the issue.

The two representatives for the lawsuit will get a bit more – $7,500 each.

However, the lawyers stand to make the most, with fees and expenses of around $6.5m.

Apple has already spent more than $8m challenging the lawsuit.

A similar consumer lawsuit related to FaceTime was not successful after a court in Florida ruled that Apple had not broken the feature to save costs.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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