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Spotlight on iPhone Storage: Why is Apple Being Sued for Misleading Data Capacity Claims?

The Court Case That Shook The Foundations of a Technology Giant

We’ve all read about it, but what does this latest lawsuit against Apple mean for the fortunes of the company?


Apple is a technological giant that’s carved out a presence in many of our homes. Whether it’s a phone, tablet or computer, lots of us own or use at least an Apple product. With any device comes the need for storage space, for anything from apps to photographs to music files, and companies often sell their devices on the promise that users will get to use a certain amount of GB at their leisure. You would think that Apple would have to inform users that their new and improved operating system would eat away at a lot of their device’s storage capacity, but somewhat surprisingly, this issue is not as clear cut as you might think.

An update that went wrong

In late 2014, Apple released its new operating software, iOS 8. While the system itself was met with a rather lukewarm (if not completely cold) response, there was something else that caught the attention of users. This new operating system was different in a few key ways, but the biggest problem was that it automatically required a lot more storage space. In fact, that amount of space can be somewhere around 23.1% of the product’s total storage capacity, depending on what Apple device it is installed on, with the maximum amount of storage taken up on the 16GB iPod. It’s common practice for phone manufacturers to bend the truth a little, so why is this case any different? Well, two Apple users decided to take legal action, that’s why.

The lawsuit

On the 31st December 2014, the story broke that two Miami residents were suing Apple for failing to disclose just how much space iOS 8 was going to take up. This case focused on the iPod, the device most heavily affected in terms of storage space used. It is unknown how Apple will respond to this claim, as they have in the past successfully defended their selves against similar claims. However, due to the amount of bad press already circulating regarding this new operating system, could future sales of the iPod be negatively affected?

What does this mean for Apple

While it’s uncertain what effect the lawsuit will have on Apple’s bottom line (their figures for this year will be released further down the line), sales of the iPod are on the decline. In the final quarter of the year, Apple sold less than half the amount of iPods than during the same period last year. While this can’t be directly attributed to the bad press surrounding the data capacity claims, as unit sales were clearly in decline before that, it certainly won’t help Apple’s fortunes now. These lacklustre figures could just be the result of a changing trend, however – sales of the iPad and iPhone remained strong, so it could be that consumers are wanting to buy devices that offer them a wider range of features.

The court case was a catalyst for change

It’s likely that Apple will win this lawsuit. That much is a given. But there’s has already been much publicity surrounding the case, so the industry is speculating as to whether or not this could be another (or perhaps even the final) nail in the coffin of the iPod.

What will Apple do to remedy this? Given their knack for producing innovative tech that sells in huge numbers, we think that they’ll either evolve the iPod into something new or release an entirely new device. One thing is for sure though – this court case will have taught Apple a key lesson about the importance of transparency. Other companies will be watching closely to see how Apple handles the case to see whether or not they too will need to be much more upfront about device storage specifications in the future.

Written By

Gary Gould is the Co-Founder of Compare Cloudware, which recently launched a website that allows consumers to compare major cloudware products

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