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Lawsuit alleges Apple knowingly concealed an iPhone Wi-Fi defect

Published Dec 18th, 2015 3:25PM EST
iPhone 5s AT&T Wi-Fi Class Action Apple
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

Apple is not a stranger to class action suits and the iPhone maker will soon have to defend itself in a new class action that alleges Apple has knowingly ignored and concealed a Wi-Fi defect in various iPhone models, which resulted in overages for the affected customers.

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Consumer-rights law firm Hagens Berman says that the Wi-Fi defect affected all users who bought an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s from AT&T and who used it with either iOS 6, iOS 7 or iOS 8 on board. Apparently, they may have incurred additional data overages for data traffic processed over a cellular connection rather than a Wi-Fi one.

“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,” the press release reads. “Because of the automatic switch from Wi-Fi to cellular data, consumers were using huge amounts of cellular data without any warning.”

The law firm says that the issue was fixed only in iOS 8.1, released in October 2014, but Apple knew about it almost immediately, yet failed to fix it for years. The suit also alleges that Apple hasn’t even disclosed the defect to its subscribers. Moreover, Apple is believed to having fixed a similar issue for Verizon iPhone 5 handsets, but not those on AT&T.

“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,” Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman said. “We believe Apple should not have withheld this repair for any period of time, and seek to make these affected consumers whole.”

“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.”

In case you believe you have also been affected by this alleged iPhone malfunction, follow the source link to learn what you can do about it.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.