After the company was taken to court following an accusation filed by several Californian citizens, Apple\s lawsuit regarding lost iMessages was dismissed earlier this Friday by a federal judge. The case referred to they way in which messages were lost when switching from an iOS device to an Android one, for example.
The plaintiffs claimed that Apple was consistently blocking messages from Android to iPhone users, preceding a switch from the latter platform. The case was not sent into federal court because the party could not prove that Apple was doing this block knowingly. It simply occurred due to a bug in the system.
Even if the problem in regards to messaging was brought to light back in 2012, when the lawsuit was filed, Apple only managed to fix the issue in November 2014. The program which caused this issue was the Cupertino system.
When a user switched from iPhone to Android, while still having the same phone number, Cupertino would send messages to the old device instead of the new one. This was circumvented by releasing an online tool which allowed the public to deregister their phone number from Apple’s system. Messages would be allowed to be sent freely, no matter the platform, after this deregistering process was completed.
One of the reasons why this fix took so long is the fact that the glitch was deemed as a low priority issue, most users opting to just switch back to their old phones. True, this would come with a great number of criticisms alongside it, but it wouldn’t amass to anything, considering Apple’s massive scale.
The move of blocking messages was mostly seen as a marketing ploy, some of the plaintiffs claiming that their friends were forced to switch back to iPhone because of the problem. If Apple’s involvement was true or not, we may never know. Even if this move may seem as a viable strategy, it is completely malicious, to say the least, especially if it is done in an undisclosed manner.
After the case was dismissed, a particularly interesting topic of discussion arose. One day, companies like Apple and Android may very well block messages between devices with different company affiliations, forcing users to stick to one brand. Although this will forcefully lower the number of messaging app users, by doing this, both companies would attempt to make their own service better than the other, similar to how gaming consoles try to outdo each other through the use of console exclusive games.
Even if Apple’s lawsuit regarding lost iMessages was dismissed, with the problem being somewhat fixed as well, their reluctance in repairing the issue at an early point in time shows that the company doesn’t completely put a user-friendly environment in the spotlight at all times. Them winning the case is not completely surprising because the problem was from an alleged random bug. If this was true or not, we may never know. It may have very well been a method of testing the water in regards to company exclusive messaging systems.