Apple was slapped with a potential class action lawsuit this week alleging the company intentionally misled customers as to how much storage their iPhone has after installing iOS 8, and then tries to sell more through iCloud subscriptions. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal Court in San Francisco by the law firm Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca.
Law firm accuses Apple of using bogus storage claims to push iCloud subscriptions
William Anderson, a lawyer representing the case, said, "We feel that there are a substantial number of Apple consumers that have been shortchanged, and we'll be pursuing the claims vigorously," according to Silicon Beat.
The actual amount of usable storage on a device is always lower than the stated amount because some space is lost to formatting, and companies always include some sort of disclaimer noting the difference. The class action lawsuit alleges Apple didn't do enough to make that clear to consumers, then tried to pressure them into buying online storage.
The lawsuit claims,
Using these sharp business tactics, defendant gives less storage capacity than advertised, only to offer to sell that capacity in a desperate moment, e.g., when a consumer is trying to record or take photos at a child or grandchild’s recital, basketball game or wedding.
On an iPhone 5s, the available storage space can be about 18 percent lower, and on an iPod touch it can be as much as 23 percent lower.
Saying that Apple is selling iCloud subscriptions to increase available storage, however, may be a hard point to push. iCloud works as a conduit to synchronize data between devices, and the new iCloud Drive offers easier to manage online storage, but neither actually increases the amount of available storage on an iPhone or iPad.
The lawfirm that filed the case is hoping to use California's consumer protection laws to collect damages from Apple as representatives for everyone who installed iOS 8, or bought a device with iOS 8 already installed. Apple hasn't commented on the case.