Apple is facing a lawsuit seeking damages of $5m from a California couple over the WiFi Assist feature that has caused some consumers to unwittingly use excessive data and increase their bills.
WiFi Assist was introduced with iOS for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus and is designed automatically to switch a device to mobile data if a connection on WiFi is weak or unstable.
However, complaints arose that Apple did not explain this clearly and people were unaware that they were using data when they believed they were on WiFi, leading to excessive data consumption.
The lawsuit was first uncovered by Apple Insider, which reported that, despite Apple recently adding more information on the tool to a help page, the risk to consumers of racking up huge data bills remains.
"Reasonable and average consumers use their iPhones for streaming of music, videos, and running various applications, all of which can use significant data,” it said.
“[Apple's] corrective statement does not disclose any basis for its conclusion that an average consumer would not see much increase in cellular use."
V3 contacted Apple for its response to the lawsuit but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Apple has already tried to give some reassurance to customers that WiFi Assist will not generate huge bills, noting that it does not turn when data roaming, or when using streaming audio of video apps, or downloading large amounts of data.
The lawsuit comes after Apple released the iOS 9.1 update for iPhones and iPads, which included several fixes and security patches and dozens of new emojis.
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