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Man sues Apple CEO Tim Cook over automatic iOS 7 update

updated 04:46 pm EDT, Fri October 18, 2013

Case pursued through small claims court

A California man, Mark Menacher, has filed a small-claims lawsuit against Apple CEO Tim Cook over an automatic update to iOS 7. The case is being handled through the San Diego County branch of California's Superior Court, and asks for a method to remove update files plus $50 in compensation. Automatic over-the-air downloads of iOS updates became an option with iOS 6; although people must give permission for an update to install, the associated file can't be removed if a person chooses to back out, consuming 1GB or more of free space.

"Apple's disregard for customer preferences in relation to iOS 7 is corporate thuggery," Menacher writes in a statement. "Steve Jobs was reportedly rough on company employees in pursuit of happy customers, but Tim Cook apparently cultivates a culture of contempt for customer satisfaction in pursuit of corporate profits. It is a policy that will eventually fail."

Apple has sometimes been criticized for pushing customers into upgrading to the latest version of iOS by tying new features so closely to the firmware. In recent times Google has gone in the opposite direction with Android, linking most new features to separate, optional app upgrades.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-07-07


  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-29-99

    So he can't find the "no" button. OK.

  1. macmediausa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-05

    I had this problem once before...
    Somehow itunes already downloaded the IOS (5 or 6 - I forgot) into the computer.
    When I connected the ipad into the computer it was running slowly and somehow when typing into my web browser for a search, itunes immediately popped up and a "carriage return" that was entered into Safari ended up being entered into Itunes instead.

    The problem is that "carriage return" ended up clicking the OK button in a dialog box in itunes requesting to update to the next IOS software onto the ipad but it was so quick I couldn't read what the dialog box said. Well, I didn't pay attention and clicked back onto safari and unbeknownst to me - itunes started updating the ipad. A little while later noticed the ipad with the upgraded IOS and put 2 into together and realized what had happened.

    Unfortunately, my previous jailbreak of my ipad was gone and Apple already stopped signing the last revision. I was pretty livid that day but had to be patient until the next jailbreak.

    Now I prevent all automatic updates from even coming up - but it was too late to do then as it is for this guy out in Calif.

    Personally, I would like to see a way to require apple to allow backtracking an update if the user doesn't like it - but sadly I don't think they can be made to do that.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    This is going to get thrown out of court so hard the guy might go into orbit.

  1. jfgilbert

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-19-10

    I think his problem is not so much the upgrade but the fact that it takes 1GB of space on his device for something that he does not want. That aside, suing the CEO is a ridiculous way to go about it.
    More bothering to me is the article implication that Apple is somewhat wrong in pushing users to upgrade to the latest version of the OS, and Android is somehow better for not doing it. In fact, pushing the customer base to be up to date is the best thing they can do, and they do it well by letting new OS run on several generations of hardware, unlike Google that does it backwards and forces you to upgrade your hardware if you want the newer software. Having your customers up to date is best for security, app developers, avoiding bloatware, and stability, so it is best for the customer.
    Letting customers upgrade the OS without buying a new phone is putting the customer experience ahead of short term corporate profits.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    jfgilbert: it is *impossible* to be upgraded to iOS 7 against your will. You *have* to agree to the download AND you have to agree to the T&C before the download begins. This guy not only has no case, judging from his rant/statement in the suit I think we've discovered the real identity of one of our trolls.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Why are there never any class action suits against Google and Android? Considering they have 80% market share, one might expect there to be a lot more lawsuits. Android doesn't have the greatest update frequency if a recall correctly and yet no one is suing Google or the carriers or whoever is responsible for those things.

  1. davidlfoster

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-06-05

    IF you have sufficient space on your iOS device to hold the update file, Apple will expropriate that space for the iOS 7 update file WITHOUT asking your permission. Unless you root the device, you can't delete this file. On a 16GB iOS device this could be a major inconvenience. There are LOTS of reasons why some users might be inclined to delay upgrading. If an important app doesn't work with iOS 7, then the obvious strategy is to wait until the app is first updated. A suit is a bit off-the-wall here, but Apple's forced quarantine of a significant chunk of storage space is a hostile maneuver that may not be in all of there customers' best interests.

  1. jameshays

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-10-03

    California resident. Coincidence? Higher life forms are further east...

  1. Paulrm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-01-01

    I love the snarky comments from the elitists that seem to populate this board. I've been a Mac user dating back to the 64k original. I've been an iOS user going back to version 1.

    I have also been an unwilling "upgraded" to iOS 7. The upgrade started by merely touching the screen. I did an emergency restart on the phone, as directed by an iOS tech at Apple. No luck. I'm now stuck with 7.0, which I think may be the worst piece of software I've ever used, with no return path.

    I guarantee the gentleman in California is joined by those in the east, although the poster immediately above gives no indication of having a higher IQ.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    The original Mac had 128k.

    You ACTIVELY upgraded to iOS 7. It DOES NOT HAPPEN without user interaction.

    What this lawsuit is about is the inability to delete the upgrade file if you decide against upgrading.

    Which, incidentally, is now possible in 7.1b2.

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Originally Posted by jfgilbertView Post

    I think his problem is not so much the upgrade but the fact that it takes 1GB of space on his device for something that he does not want.

    This is another reason I went for the 64 GB iPod Touch---aside from having a ridiculous amount of "If I need it" space the extra cost for double the hard drive space on a refurbished iPod was worth it. I may just decide to switch out my current hard Macbook hard drive for a 512 GB flash once the price comes down, or I may just sell the whole thing for the more energy-efficient processor models.

    This is a bit of a ridiculous one forced a gun to his face and said "Download iOS 7." When you get an iPhone you have the responsibility of knowing enough about its software to make decisions as to whether or not you want the device to retrieve updates. He could've well chosen to turn all that off.

    If the argument is about lacking hard drive space altogether, i.e., if I bought a "64GB" Macbook Air and find that I can use only 45GB of it because of Apple's own software using that much space, (analogy applies to an iPod) then that's grounds for being able to request an estimate of just how much free space I will have when it's all said and done, the same way that companies give "quotes" for financing, I want to know what I'll have left....before I use the device.

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