Feeds

AppleT&T faces twin texting suits

'Mouseprint disclaimer' insufficient

Boost IT visibility and business value

Apple and AT&T are facing a pair of strikingly similar class-action lawsuits charging that the companies misrepresented the iPhone's ability to send and receive MMS messages when upgraded to iPhone Software 3.0.

Reports of the first lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, began crowding the web yesterday. And today, AppleInsider turned up another, filed in the US District Court in the Southern District of Illinois.

Both suits go into great detail to document Apple's marketing of iPhone Software 3.0 as MMS-capable as being deceptive and describe the reason for AT&T's failure to provide such support being because "AT&T has never upgraded its towers so as to support the functionality necessary for MMS."

Interestingly, the language in the two complaints that describes the failure of Apple and AT&T to get their MMS acts together is essentially identical - and identically snarky.

After detailing the AT&T Answer Center's unhelpful advice on MMS support - "iPhone does not support sending, or receiving picture, audio, or video multimedia messages" - the suits contend that "The 'Fix' was essentially to say 'tough luck.'"

When an MMS message is sent to the iPhone (or any non-MMS-capable device), the suits complain, the Answer Center provides a URL and and advises that "To view the MMS message, please access the website from a computer." This displeases the plaintiffs. "Incredibly," the suits marvel, "AT&T was directing customers interested in MMS to go to a computer to view the message."

Neither are the plaintiffs satisfied with Apple and AT&T's explanation for the missing MMS support. "The only excuse offered by AT&T and Apple is a mouseprint disclaimer on the website, in barely readable font," the suits assert, "which reads 'MMS Support from AT&T coming in late summer.'"

Both suits have named plaintiffs - Christopher Carbine, Ryan Casey, and Lisa Mauer in Louisiana and Tim Meeker in Illinois - and both seek to extend the suit to cover all purchasers of 3G and 3GS iPhones purchased in each jurisdiction.

The Louisiana case claims that the affected class would include "at least 10,000 individuals." The Illinois case move the decimal point one place to the right and ups the class to 100,000.

Both suits also claim that the "amount of controversy" in the case is over $5m - although the Illinois case tacks onto that figure "interests and costs." Both suits seek compensatory damages, and the Illinois suit adds "punitive damages in an amount which is fair and reasonable."

We can only assume that Apple and AT&T saw this coming from the moment when Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS and iPhone Software 3.0 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8th and revealed that AT&T wouldn't support MMS until "later this summer." After all, we Americans are a litigious lot - especially when the rest of the world gets something which we are denied.

What may have come as a surprise, though, is that two identical suits popped up it two different courts mere days from one another.

There are 94 US District Courts in the American judicial system. It will be interesting to keep our eye on the remaining 92. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.