American devices vendor Apple is facing a U.S. federal lawsuit for failing to tell iPhone users that its messaging system would block them from receiving text messages if they switched to Android-based smartphones from iPhones.
A Reuters report said U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California said Apple must face plaintiff Adrienne Moore’s claim that the message blocking interfered with her contract with Verizon Wireless for wireless service, which she kept after switching in April to a Samsung Galaxy S5 from an iPhone 4.
Moore has sought class-action status and unspecified damages from the Cupertino, California-based Apple.
The main complaint is that Apple failed to disclose how its iOS 5 software operating system would obstruct the delivery of messages from other Apple device users if iPhone users switched to non-Apple devices.
Koh said Moore deserved a chance to show Apple disrupted her wireless service contract and violated a California unfair competition law, by blocking messages meant for her.
The judge dismissed some claims tied to another California consumer protection law.
Apple, in court papers, said that it never claimed that its iMessage service and Messages application, which ran with iOS 5, would recognize when iPhone users switched to rival devices.
“Apple takes customer satisfaction extremely seriously, but the law does not provide a remedy when, as here, technology simply does not function as plaintiff subjectively believes it should,” the company said in the court papers.
During the fiscal year ended September 27, Apple reported sales of 169.2 million iPhones including the latest models iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple now has an online tool, (https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage), to help people who switch to non-Apple smartphones retrieve messages from iPhone users.
Apple competes with Samsung and their patent battle is still going on in US courts.