Apple hit with class action over storage eaten up by iOS 8

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).


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  • Sreve

    Incoherent. For one, iCloud has nothing to do with increasing storage capacity. This will get tossed out. Douchy DC lawyers….

  • IGeorge

    Only in America- the software is free but still not enough. Americans are allowing Lawyers the freedom to send the economy to the scrap yard. Wake up America. (From a friendly Australian)

  • Eric

    This is just stupid. I’m amazed at how people think or don’t.

    If this s upheld it proves the legal system is just flawed.

  • bruce

    That is why you don’t get an IPhone, I have Note 4, and I can ad up to 128 GB of storage with a mini sd card.

  • Jj

    What a joke these lawyers are horz!

  • Richie

    Really? Lawsuit over iCloud storage? But one of the points is device storage. iCloud is optional storage for your files and backups which you choose to use over backing up to your computer. Again, OPTIONAL! Suing Apple over iCloud storage affecting their device is an uneducated move. iCloud storage doesn’t direct impact the physical devices physical storage! When you buy an iPhone, you pick the size 16gb, 64gb or 128gb. This is total storage capacity and they note on the box and in the software and hardware agreements that actual storage may differ due to formatting and included software. Another group of bottom feeders who don’t know how to read terms and conditions, and the SIDE OF THE BOX! These half conscious morons are trying to get a piece of the pie.

  • Paul oneill

    Yet another ludicrous frivolous class action. The laws should be changed so that law firms that fish for dollars and lose should have to pay triple the legal expenses of the winning defendant…then maybe this garbage will stop.
    No OS provider advises their users up front *explicitly* how much storage it consumes; but the information is readily available. It’s even provided when downloading. And no one is forcing the user to buy more uCloud storage. Sheesh, I hate lawyers.

  • Paul oneill

    Yet another ludicrous frivolous class action. The laws should be changed so that law firms that fish for dollars and lose should have to pay triple the legal expenses of the winning defendant…then maybe this garbage will stop.
    No OS provider advises their users up front *explicitly* how much storage it consumes; but the information is readily available. It’s even provided when downloading. And no one is forcing the user to buy more iCloud storage. Sheesh, I hate lawyers.

  • Kent

    I think that Apple makes some darn good products but they sure don’t care about their customers. This Cook guy is worse than Jobs when it comes to customers.

  • B

    iCloud storage has nearly nothing to do with iPhone storage. It’s not like you can pay for iCloud storage and your iPhone magically has more space. The only things that be stored on iCloud exclusively(meaning the document is only on iCloud and not any device) are documents like pages and numbers. You can’t store photos, music, movies, apps, or pretty much anything else on iCloud exclusively. Yes they can be backed up to it, but they still have to be on the iPhone and using iCloud does nothing to free space on the phone or provide more.

  • JT

    I hope Apple railroads these class-action a-holes into the ground. Such entitled technology tards. You buy a computer with 1TB hard drive of finite storage, and the OS tabkes up 5-10% or more. You buy a phone, with 64GB SSD of finite storage and the OS takes up 15-20% storage but gives you almost same functionality, and they complain. It’s in the palm of your hand!!! It’s not some big box sitting on your floor or desk. Do you not understand that??? No, there’s not going to be enough storage for all your mp4, videos, songs, etc, which still giving you the capacity to check your facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram and whatever else you deem necessary to run your pathetic life. I hope Apple wins this one big time. Entitled generations be damned.

  • Eli

    Screw lawyers, this is such a pile of shit lawsuit. Updating iOS over the air takes double the normal space, I think this is pretty obvious. You have to be pretty dumb to buy extra iCloud space for software updates.

  • carl

    I think it’s VERY MISLEADING!! Yes the products does have ??gb of storage, as the manufactors advertise. How much of that storage is available after the manufactory installs their own software is a MYSTERY!! I have found myself upset of the shortage of storage on my devices. I think that the manufactories of products such iPhone,iPod,etc should have seperate storage for their software. There needs to be better laws, more clearly written laws for such things.

    • B

      I can’t wait to see all the class action lawsuits about to be filed against every computer, phone, and tablet manufacturer in the history of ever.

  • Free country. Apple never promises storage, space, just the ability to use it.
    Silly complaint. Won’t hold up. Lawyers will do anything to anyone for any amount of bread.

  • David

    Another day, another frivolous lawsuit agains Apple. I know this would come to an end if the law were just, and required the looser to pay all legal expenses on both sides. I’m guessing tomorrows will have something to do with the fact that Apple does not advise you on the boxes of their products, that they must be opened before use!

  • I think that this is just another case of lawyers trying to blackmail money out of Apple. If people are stupid enough not to understand that an operating system (which is what runs the phones, laptops, desktops, etc) and the apps that run on those devices all need to be stored on the device and that the more function ou ask the OS and apps to perform the bigger they get and the more storage they take up — then you just ought not to buy any such devices.

    Is anyone suing Windows, Android,UNIX, etc — both take up a good bit of storage and get bigger and bigger all the time.

    Class action lawyers are the scum of the earth and should be made to pay the legal expenses of the companies they sue if they lose.

  • dbtuner

    I thought that in relation to Android, IOS used much less space. It would be nice to see those comparisons in this article as well as comparisons to previous versions of IOS.

  • James Greene

    When will lawyers be forced to pay for stupid class action lawsuits in the amounts they are seeking?

    Before upgrading the operating system, the user is informed how much space will be used on the user’s device. If the user’s device does not have the required space, the user is informed the operating system upgrade cannot be performed.

    On the back of every iPhone box is this sentence… 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.

    On the iCloud subscription front, Apple actually gives 5GB of storage to iPhone customers. If the customer wants more iCloud space, the customer has to pay for it. The customer is not forced to purchase an iCloud subscription.

    When does customer responsibility come into play? Customers are alerted to dwindling device storage capacity in time for the customer to take action to free up space. The customer could use iCloud OR the customer could use his/her own computer if one is owned to free up device space.

    Throw in children and grandparents just like the NSA to tug on heart strings to sway opinion.

    Lawyers cannot continue to be this stupid and greedy!

  • Realitybytes

    This is so beyond stupid, I’m embarrassed to have read it.
    The attorneys in that law firm should be unilaterally disbarred for being just as stupid as the plaintiff.
    The OS is whatever size it needs to be to work, there is no expanding data to fill empty hard drive space.
    These idiot complainers should thank Apple for the foresight to include a free icloud subscription to every iOS user.
    Is there no end to stupid people looking for a payday hiring greedy and intellectually technically challenged lawyers on break from chasing ambulances?


    We need tort reform NOW but alas since our system of gubment if full of scum lawyers it will never happen! Beyond that why didnt these idiots check how much space the system update would require BEFORE clicking the update button????

  • Robert Derman

    It sounds like these lawyers just don’t understand how computers actually work. The real problem with Apple mobile gadgets is that they are too much a closed system. That’s why I bought an Android, and when I decided that I wanted it to have more storage space, i just bought a cheap memory chip and plugged it in increasing my storage by 4x for less than 15 dollars.

  • I’m astonished at the number of people who make excuses for Apple here. It isn’t bad enough that they deliberately try to prevent competition, even to the extent of deleting a person’s personal files (mine for instance), but they lie, egregiously so, about the storage, showing 128 gb on the box and the device, then only 114 gb on the internal menu. Then, there’s EVEN MORE gigabytes chewed up by some invisible memory-sucker when you get down to the last 10 gb or so. Apple KNOWS they’re lying, yet so many customers believe in them like a religion that they’re desperate to cover for them.

    • ALRUI

      Dale you obviously dont understand ANYTHING about disk space, how it allocated, or used. As far as Apple stifling competition welcome to capitalism! If I can get one over on my competitor I do it each and every time I can:-) You insinuate youre in competition with Apple and their “deleting” your personal files hurt you in some way – GOOD ONE:-)

  • CB

    I’ve just got to say, these people sound like morons. Sounds like someone didn’t read where it says many times that the OS takes up space…

    • ALRUI

      I sure hope youre not referring to my comment, I KNOW an OS takes up space as does 90% of computer/device users…..

  • Bad enough all the disinformation and spam here, but they’re telling you that the gigabytes gobbled up on your i-device are equivalent to those on a computer hard drive, by the O/S. Nyet – those flash gb on your i-device are 20 or more times more expensive.

    • ALRUI

      Hey Dale, youre clueless. Go online and educate yourself or take a basic college computer class!Flash memory has come WAY down in price & is nowhere near “20 times” more expensive PERIOD!

      • Typical disinformation tactic that’s so, so obvious here. You people are unbelievable. You should get a real job. Is Apple this desperate to cover up? I can get a 2 tb pocket drive for $110, but 128 gb flash is just as much.

  • Another little forensic here — The iPhone 6 and 6-plus have the same O/S, only differing in screen size. But look at the capacities – on the 6, the “O/S” takes up 8 gb, while it takes 14 gb on the 6-plus. iPhone6-64gb capacity: 56 gb. iPhone 6-plus 128gb capacity: 114 gb. When you plug a 128 gb MicroSD card (cost about $100) into an Android etc. phone, you get all 128 gb of the space.

    • ALRUI

      Keep posting, youre making yourself look more foolish with every post:-)

  • maryam
  • alrui

    Hey you morons, you think youre going to see anything other then a dollar or 2 by joining this suit that simply screams out that you know NOTHING about computing? The only winners here are corporate lawyers who will drag this out so they have lots of billable hours to fatten their wallets. At the end of the day we intelligent users will have longer and more confusing T&C’s to wade through and more confusion of specifications! P.S. the lawyers involved in pushing this should be taken out a publicly drawn & quartered (even that would be to humane for these SCUM!).

  • sorena

    I’ve never used the operating system ios 8.لباس مجلسی

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