Judge denies group status for lawsuit targeting Apple over lost iMessage texts

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A California lawsuit over texts lost in Apple's iMessage network can't proceed as a group case, a judge ruled, as it isn't clear all of the proposed members were impacted by a "contractual breach or interference" originating from iMessage.

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh stated that even if plaintiff Adrienne Moore might be accurate in blaming "systemic flaws" in iMessage for causing problems with text messaging, that doesn't help the court in deciding whether iMessage "caused the proposed class members to suffer any interference," according to Bloomberg.

Moore's original complaint noted that when she switched from an iPhone 4 to a Android-based Samsung phone, she was suddenly unable to receive texts from people with iPhones. The issue stems from the fact that iMessage links iPhone numbers and Apple IDs, and prefers the latter, since it allows messages to reach someone on any iOS or OS X device.

If a person switches to a non-Apple phone, however, texts from other iPhone owners will by default vanish into the ether. Moore's suit was filed prior to Apple deploying a web tool for separating phone numbers from iMessage.

The problem penalizes people for choosing an alternative product, Moore's court filing said, preventing them from getting the full benefits of their cellphone service.

The latest ruling helps Apple, as it might otherwise have had to spend more on defense, making an out-of-court settlement more likely.