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Apple loses bid to have lawsuit over FaceTime on iPhone 4 dismissed

Earlier this year Apple was hit with a class action lawsuit over FaceTime being disabled on older iPhones that can’t run iOS 7, and this week an attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed has failed. Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made the decision not to dismiss the lawsuit…

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled late on Friday that iPhone 4 and 4S users can pursue nationwide class action claims that Apple intentionally “broke” FaceTime to save money from routing calls through servers owned by Akamai Technologies Inc (AKAM.O).

Apple’s decision to stop supporting FaceTime on the iPhone 4 was a result of a patent lawsuit it lost against VirnetX which resulted in Apple switching to a cheaper method to support the video calling feature.

While Apple argued that no damage was done as FaceTime is a free service, the judge in the case decided that FaceTime is a part of the iPhone.

“FaceTime is a ‘feature’ of the iPhone and thus a component of the iPhone’s cost,” Koh said in a footnote. “Indeed, Apple advertised FaceTime as ‘one more thing that makes an iPhone an iPhone.'”

With Apple failing to have the lawsuit dismissed, we’re certain to hear more about the case in the future (although that likely means an exchange of money and not FaceTime coming back to the iPhone 4 and iOS 6).

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.