Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that it doesn’t inform users just how much storage its new operating system will eat up – and then prods them to buy more space through its iCloud service.
The case, filed in the Bay Area’s federal court on Tuesday, claims iOS 8 can take up as much as 23.1 percent of the advertised storage capacity on Apple gadgets, but few users realize that when they make their purchases. Seeking damages and changes to Apple policies under California state law, plaintiffs hope to represent sweeping classes of users who bought Apple gadgets with iOS 8 already installed and users who upgraded to the latest version of the software.
“We feel that there are a substantial number of Apple consumers that have been shortchanged, and we’ll be pursuing the claims vigorously,” said William Anderson, a lawyer at Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm.
A spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment.
Launched in September, iOS 8 was initially marred by a few kinks that have been ironed out with software updates. Sixty-four percent of iOS devices now run on iOS 8, according to an Apple page for developers.
Apple has touted iOS 8 as the “biggest iOS 8 release ever,” a tagline plaintiffs lawyers tried to spin to their advantage in the complaint, arguing that few users understood just how much space the software would take up. They claim Apple exploits the space constraints by peddling iCloud subscriptions when users run out of storage.
“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,” plaintiffs allege in the complaint.
Depending on the device they purchase, consumers who install iOS 8 allegedly receive substantially less storage than advertised, ranging from 18.1 percent for the iPhone 5s to 23.1 percent for the iPod, according to the complaint.
Apple has fended off such claims before, beating back a Canadian case in 2012 that alleged the company misled consumers about the amount of storage on the iPod. Competitors such as Samsung and Microsoft have also been slapped with claims that they were not upfront about the true storage capacity of their gadgets.
Above: Plaintiffs allege that the iPhone 6, flaunted here by Apple CEO Tim Cook, contains substantially less storage than advertised (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images).