Apple has been hit by a class action lawsuit from iPhone 5 and 5s owners who are on the AT&T network. The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, alleges that the iPhone maker knowingly concealed a defect in the handsets that caused devices to use LTE data, even when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
In September 2012, some iPhone 5 users noticed the bug after finding that they were going through more data than usual. Shortly after the issue came to light, Apple and Verizon issued a fix for the bug, with Verizon confirming that users affected by the bug would not be charged for their data use.
Law firm Hagens Berman says an investigation by them into the matter shows Apple and AT&T never issued a fix for, nor acknowledged the defect. The firm and plaintiff Thomas Palmer say Apple shouldn’t have kept the fix from AT&T customers, and failed to address the issue even as iOS 7 and the iPhone 5s were released.
The law firm says the defect occurred when a user streamed a high volume of data for 10 to 20 minutes. At that point, the GPU would take over to decompress, decode, and display video, so the CPU would go to sleep to conserve battery life on the device. When the CPU went to sleep on the iPhone 5 and 5s, the defect caused the devices to switch from Wi-Fi to LTE, consuming large amounts of LTE data.
The case has not yet been assigned a judge, and has also not yet been scheduled for a hearing.