Apple has won a complete victory in a lawsuit that claimed the company wiretaps Android users by intercepting, and then failing to deliver, texts sent from iPhones to Android phones.
A federal judge ruled to dismiss the case with a single-sentence order (PDF).
Apple previously asked the judge to dismiss the suit after Apple discovered that two of the three plaintiffs in the case had gotten rid of their old iPhones after they filed the suit against Apple. They are thus unable to demonstrate whether texts sent to their phone numbers went to their Apple or Android devices, Apple claimed.
One of the plaintiffs also previously asked that she be dismissed as a “named plaintiff” in the case. The judge also declined to grant the case class-action status.
Originally, Bouakhay Joy Backhaut claimed her husband traded in her old iPhone when buying her a new Android. Her husband, Adam Backhaut, and a friend, Kenneth Morris, were plaintiffs in the case.
The three alleged that they switched from iPhones to Android phones in 2012. After that, texts sent to them from other iPhone users were not delivered. They were probably stuck in Apple’s iMessage system, which was notoriously unreliable at delivering texts to Android phones until late 2014, when Apple introduced a fix for the bug. That constitutes a violation of the Federal Wire Tap Act, the three claim. Apple denied the allegations.
While the legal case came to nothing, between late 2012 and 2014 it was a huge technical issue for anyone who chose to switch from iPhone to Android. After publishing a series of stories about glitches in iMessage, Business Insider received more than 600 emails from consumers complaining that Apple’s iCloud system refused to deliver texts if they moved their phone numbers to an Android device. Employees of Apple and various phone retailers told Business Insider they believed that fixing the glitch had been a low priority for Apple because customers who switched to Android became so unhappy at not getting their messages that many were forced to switch back.
Legally, however, all those allegations have now come to nothing.