Hagens Berman: iPhone Users Sue Apple for Concealing Wi-Fi Defect Causing Data Overage Fees

Class action alleges Apple ignored defect in iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S models for years

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--IPhone owners today sued Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) for allegedly knowingly concealing a defect in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S that leads to high use of cellular data, and overage charges for AT&T wireless subscribers, according to consumer-rights law firm Hagens Berman.

According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, Apple knew about the defect “almost immediately,” yet failed to fix it for AT&T wireless subscribers for years, and did not even disclose the defect. The defect affected all versions of iOS 6 and 7 and was only resolved with the release of iOS 8.1 in October 2014.

According to the firm’s investigation, the defect causes consumers to automatically switch from their Wi-Fi signals to using more costly cellular data when streaming videos or engaging in other activities that use large amounts of data. Because of the automatic switch from Wi-Fi to cellular data, consumers were using huge amounts of cellular data without any warning.

If you own or used to own an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S and used iOS 6, iOS 7 or iOS 8, and are an AT&T subscriber, contact Hagens Berman to find out your rights against Apple.

The suit states that by withholding this information and repair, consumers were unaware of the defect and were left to sort out high cellular data charges with their wireless carriers. The complaint states that Apple’s omission of this information violates California consumer laws, including the Unfair Competition Law, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the False Advertising Law.

“Apple failed to report or fix this defect for years, leaving hundreds of thousands of iPhone users racking up month after month of data overage charges,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “We believe Apple should not have withheld this repair for any period of time, and seek to make these affected consumers whole.”

According to the lawsuit, consumers contacted Apple and their carriers about the issue and commented on Internet message boards. Various news outlets also began taking notice of the issue. Within days, Apple, without admitting that any defect existed, provided a repair for the defect for iPhone 5 owners on the Verizon network, but not for those who were subscribed to the AT&T network.

“It appears that in its haste to contend in the fiercely competitive smartphone market, Apple allowed a costly defect to go on for years,” Berman added. “Consumers deserve more, and they deserve payback from Apple.”

“Indeed, Apple presented the iPhone 5 as a product that would revolutionize the user experience for mobile devices: delivering lightning fast internet and video over Wi-Fi or LTE, hundreds of new apps, a wider screen, and all within a thinner phone,” the suit states. “But soon after the iPhone 5’s release, consumers began noticing a pattern that Apple had not advertised when it introduced the iPhone 5. Despite being connected to Wi-Fi signals, iPhone 5 purchasers experienced massive surges in the amount of cellular data they were using each month.”

Find out more about the firm’s class-action lawsuit against Apple for Wi-Fi charges.

The Defect – In Detail

In the iPhone 5 and 5S, when a consumer streamed high volumes of data for a period even as short as a couple of minutes, the graphics processing unit (GPU) would take over all video decompression, decoding and presentation to the display. Because the Swift central processing unit (CPU) no longer played a role in the video decompression, decoding and presentation process, the Swift CPU would go to sleep to conserve battery life. Once the Swift CPU was asleep, the iPhone 5 and 5S would automatically switch from streaming data via a Wi-Fi signal to streaming data via a cellular signal.

About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.


Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Ashley Klann, 206-268-9363

Release Summary

IPhone owners today sued Apple for allegedly concealing a defect in the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S that leads to high use of cellular data, and overage charges for AT&T users, according to Hagens Berman.



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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Ashley Klann, 206-268-9363