Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been ordered by the U.S. District court Judge Lucy Koh to clarify its stand over the disappearing iMessage from the iPhone, says a report from CNET. The judge said that the company should be answerable to users over the iMessage issue while switching from the iPhone to another operating system, regarding which a federal lawsuit was filed in May.

Apple

Users trapped with iMessage

The Cupertino, California-based company enables its users to send messages over iMessage service through its encrypted communication network, but the messaging service does not work on the Android or Windows platform, or for that matter on any other platform except the iOS. Some users complained that when they started using another operating system, the messages set to their iPhone were not rerouted to their new operating system. Users thought that their messages had been delivered, but in reality they had not.

Plaintiff Adrienne Moore argued that Apple did not reveal the issues to the public, which is why she faced problems in using her Samsung Galaxy S5. As a result, she had to drop her phone under her existing Verizon wireless contract after switching from an old iPhone 4 in April this year. Moore is claiming damages and class action status for the lawsuits.

If Moore is awarded any compensation for the damages, then it is likely that a similar amount will be awarded to all users affected by the iMessage issue. According to Judge Koh, Moore is within her rights to prove that Apple thwarted her use of an Android phone along with a Verizon contract.

Does Apple have too much control?

According to the lawsuit, the issue has led to a violation in the wireless service contract along with breaching the California unfair competition law. The court order comes a few days after the company released the iMessage fix online.

The lawsuit underlines the importance of the text communication, along with Apple Inc.’s approach towards the mobile software and growing rivalry among the tech giants over messaging. Google is already promoting its Hangouts app for Android and Gmail user,s whereas Facebook has created a standalone Messenger apart from acquiring WhatApp.

Apple has always followed a strategy of retaining its hardware and software customers without offering them much freedom. However, the latest lawsuit highlights too much control is not a good thing for customers.