Feeds

AppleT&T faces twin texting suits

'Mouseprint disclaimer' insufficient

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.