Apple Sued Over iOS 9 Wi-Fi Assist

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Sued Over iOS 9 Wi-Fi Assist.

Some people have complained about seeing a significant uptick in cellular data usage since downloading Apple’s , and now the iPhone maker is facing a legal battle over the issue. A class action suit filed Friday in federal court in San Jose, Calif. claims that Apple AAPL -2.89% failed to properly warn iOS 9 users that a new feature, called Wi-Fi Assist, automatically switches to using cellular data when a device is connected to a weak Wi-Fi signal. Florida-based William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple over Wi-Fi Assist, according to AppleInsider. Controversially, the feature is enabled by default in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 9, and it isn’t always clear when it is active (the only explicit acknowledgement is that the Wi-Fi logo in the top-right of the phone’s screen becomes greyed out).

The lawsuit, which was first reported by AppleInsider, claims that the overuse charges stemming from Wi-Fi Assist exceed $5 million, and it asks that the court award damages to the plaintiffs and other potential class action members. As a result, users have reported accidentally running up large bills for mobile-data usage when they used their phones while believing they were on their home Wi-Fi. The funny part is that Apple has a penchant for including features in updates and products that breach on certain boundaries without users knowing about it and Apple has paid quite a lot for it, but still doesn’t budge.

The lawsuit accuses Apple of misleading its customers and of violating California’s Unfair Competition Law as well as the state’s False Advertising Law. “[Apple] intentionally chose to have the default setting of the Wi-Fi Assist as activated while at the same time chose to omit the likelihood of data overcharges to consumers that do not have an unlimited data plan,” the lawsuit says. The lawsuit also notes that Apple finally posted instructions on its website showing users how to turn off the Wi-Fi Assist’s default setting only after a “flood of articles, comments and complaints” appeared online as users noted the feature’s use of cellular data. It says the advice “still downplays the possible data overcharges a user could incur,” and that “reasonable and average consumers use their iPhones for streaming of music, videos, and running various applications – all of which can use significant data.” Apple is not the only company that ships a feature similar to Wi-Fi Assist. Samsung, HTC and LG all have equivalent features on their own phones (Samsung’s is called Smart Network Assist); none of the Android manufacturers have faced a similar lawsuit, however.

But the numerous complaints available online do not support this position,” according to the filing, which points to several tweets from people who were irked by increased data usage.

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