A lawsuit filed in California on Thursday claims that Apple purposefully broke Facetime on iOS 6 in order not to pay data charges from server company Akamai. Akamai had been contracted by Apple to serve multimedia content to Apple users which included Facetime services. From iOS 6 and earlier, Apple used both a direction connection between two communicating iPhones along with Akamai’s servers to provide users with the service. It appears that at the onset, the traffic routed through Akamai was low but it soon spiked which caused Apple’s bills to spike as well. Between 2013 and 2016 Apple was allegedly paying $8.3USD million a month to Akamai for its server use.
During that same time, Apple was forced to give up the technology that allowed communication between two iPhones (as noted above). The company had lost a lawsuit filed by VirnetX that found Apple guilty of infringing on VirnetX’s patents and Apple was fined $368USD million.
Court documents that emerged during the VirnetX trial paint a damning picture. Apple executives expressed concern over the increased server usage, even going so far as to circulate an internal email with the subject line “Ways to Reduce Relay Usage” among Apple’s FaceTime engineers. The company came up with a peer-to-peer workaround for iOS 7, but one that wasn’t backward compatible with devices running iOS 6.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple devised a plan to “break” FaceTime on iOS 6 and earlier versions by causing the app’s certificate — the digital signature that verifies the app’s integrity and allows it to launch — to expire in April 2014. It blamed the incompatibility on a bug.
“Hey, guys. I’m looking at the Akamai contract for next year. I understand we did something in April around iOS 6 to reduce relay utilization,” an Apple engineering manager said. Another engineer replied, “It was a big user of relay bandwidth. We broke iOS 6, and the only way to get FaceTime working again is to upgrade to iOS 7.”
This new lawsuit not only alleges that Apple broke Facetime to save money but it also forced users to upgrade to iOS 7 even if they didn’t want to. This is an ongoing case and we’ll make sure to follow up with any future updates and report back.
In the meantime, what do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.Source: Digital Trends
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