Apple can't end lawsuit over "breaking" FaceTime on iPhone 4, judge rules

Plaintiffs could argue that Apple's actions violated consumer protection laws

Plaintiffs could argue that Apple's actions violated consumer protection laws

Neither Apple nor lawyers for the plaintiffs immediately responded on Monday to requests for comment. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 and 4S devices are celebrating today, after a judge issued a key legal ruling that allows them to sue the tech giant over claims it intentionally "broke" its FaceTime video calling app to force users to upgrade to newer devices.

The plaintiffs made the case that Apple, unhappy about paying $50million for six months of routing its FaceTime calls through servers owned by Akamai Technologies, created a cheaper alternative for its iOS7 operating system.

Apple is facing a lawsuit that claims the company purposefully disabled FaceTime on iOS 6 in order to push people to upgrade to iOS 7.

Koh added that plaintiffs alleged some measurable loss to their phones' value and could try to prove that Apple's actions violated consumer protection laws.

In a bid to save itself from the lawsuit, Apple claimed that the users did not suffer economic loss since FaceTime is a free feature.

The San Jose, California-based judge twice quoted from what the plaintiffs said was an Apple employee's internal email characterizing iOS 6 users as "basically screwed" because of the disabling of FaceTime.

"Plaintiffs paid for their iPhones, and FaceTime is a "feature" of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone's cost". "Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as 'one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone'".

The case is Grace et al v Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 17-00551.

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