Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

Apple's 'Smooth Internet Experience' Leads to Smooth Lawsuit Experience

Article Placeholder Image
By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on October 27, 2015 12:12 PM

Apple is facing more legal trouble in the wake of a class action lawsuit brought by disgruntled users who haplessly upgraded to its iOS 9 operating system.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that Apple failed to "properly warn" iOS 9 users that the new Wi-Fi Assist feature would automatically turn on after an OS update leading to huge data charges.

Default "Smooth Internet Experience"

Mobile devices are all equipped to access the Internet when in close enough proximity to a wireless router; and most are capable of using data to access the mobile networks, depending on the data plan.

The intended purpose of Apple's default feature was to ensure a "smooth Internet experience." Appleinsider reported that Plaintiffs Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt (and other class members) allege that Apple negligently misrepresented or at least downplayed the possible data overcharges associated with the Apple iOS 9 update.

After an operating system update, the phone will default to turning Wi-Fi Assist on regardless of its previous status. Thus, when the users Wi-Fi signal is weak, the data usage will kick in, incurring costs through the carrier. 

Additionally, data usage generally tends to skyrocket in conjunction with the amount of overseas travel. But remember, the original intent was to provide the best possible user experience, right?

On behalf of the affected class Plaintiffs Scott and Suzanne Phillips allege that total damages as a result of Apple's failure to warn totals at least $5 million. The fact that Apple did not properly explain Apple Assist until after a "flood of articles" were written about unintended data use came to users as simply a salt in the wound.

Competitor Reactions

Jon Fingas at Endgadet says there's no guarantee that the lawsuit will succeed, but he opines that if it does, it could be very costly for Apple. Indeed, it could be costly for the entire industry as other mobile makes including Samsung and HTC have incorporated similar programs that default to data when the user's internet access weakens. If the suit in San Jose against Apple is successful, this will be a green light for similar suits against other mobile makers.

How's your smooth experience now?

Find a Lawyer

More Options