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News

Apple, AT&T Hit with MMS Lawsuits

Apple and AT&T are on the wrong end of two class action lawsuits over the current lack of MMS support for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. iPhone OS 3.0 includes support for MMS, but so far AT&T hasn't enabled the feature and apparently at least some iPhone owners feel that they've been misled.

MMS is a feature that lets cell phone users send each other pictures, video and audio files in the same way that they send text messages to each other.

The class action suits were filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Louisiana and Southern Illinois. Both claim that Apple advertised MMS support for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and that Apple and AT&T misled customers by failing to warn them about the still missing feature.

The case filing said, in part, that Apple and AT&T "misrepresented and/or concealed, suppressed, or omitted material facts as to the iPhone having MMS functionality."

Despite the claims, Apple representatives were very clear during the company's World Wide Developer Conference keynote presentation in June when they stated that iPhone OS 3.0 supports MMS, but that AT&T wasn't going to enable the feature until some time this summer. While MMS for the iPhone isn't active in the U.S., it is in other countries, potentially making it a bit of a legal stretch to say that Apple misled customers.

AT&T, however, still hasn't offered a firm launch date for iPhone MMS support.

The lawsuits fail to mention tethering, or using your iPhone as a modem for your computer, which was also touted as a new feature but still hasn't been activated by AT&T. Like MMS, there isn't any information coming out of AT&T letting subscribers know when they can expect tethering will be available.

According to the filings, Apple and AT&T engaged in "deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation and unfair practices" by advertising the iPhone's MMS feature.

The suits are seeking damages for customer iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS purchases.

[Thanks to AppleInsider for the heads up.]

11 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

daemon said:

Um… no merit?

I mean, I dislike AT&T not offering MMS to their iPhone customers (apparently mms is available on all the other handsets) but it was widely known that AT&T customers would not get MMS.

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Lee Dronick said:

“AT&T wasn’t going to enable the feature until some time this summer”

Summer isn’t over yet.

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Tiger said:

The phone is capable. Apple’s covered. AT&T’s network is capable. My previous Samsung phone did MMS well. I used it constantly. Apple is accused of being secretive, but I think the best kept secret is why AT&T still can’t provide MMS for the iPhone.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings) said:

I bet this ends up with legs because most customers don’t know what MMS is or why they can’t send pictures to other cell phones with their iPhones. Take me as an example. I got an iPhone this weekend. Yesterday, I took a cute picture of my friend’s daughter and wanted to send it to all my friends. I could figure out the email part, but couldn’t figure out how to send to their cell phones. I just thought it was weird and that I’d look it up today. Then I saw this article and thought, “Duh!”

So I can see how people who don’t know what MMS is would think this is a great injustice, much like denying kindergartners access to birth control. If you try to screw the public, you’re gonna get sued.

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dennis said:

My understanding is that the plaintiffs bought iPhones before WWDC and were told that the OS 3.0 update would allow those iPhones to do MMS. (And no, having the theoretical capability with no actual service doesn’t count.)

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daemon said:

I don’t recall there being a feature list for OS 3.0 before WWDC….

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Frank said:

I bought an iPhone 3G because I was told by the sales person at the AT&T Store it would do everything that my Windows 5 Phone did and then some.  What a big lie. cant make directories, no MMS, lots of missing feature that Windows phone had. I should of taken it back to the store and I didnt, wanting to give it more than 30 day trial.  Well AT&T you can bet your Sour Apple that when my contract is up,I am done with you and your $100.00 a month phone plan. Furthermore, I am done with any and all Apple products along with all of my AT&T services. I wish Cingular was still running the wireless phone business.

Mad in Clarkston, Michigan

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dennis said:

I don’t recall there being a feature list for OS 3.0 before WWDC….

As I said, the customers were *told* that MMS would be a feature. They were lied to; hence the lawsuit.

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Anon said:

I wish Cingular was still running the wireless phone business

LOL.. Cingular IS still running the wireless phone buisness. Cingular bought AT&T, then decided to keep the AT&T brand as it was better know. *shrugs*

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manchester said:

SORRY ABOUT THIS! when you are reading this dont stop or something bad will happen! My name is summer i am 15 years old i have blonde hair,many scars no nose or ears..i am dead.if you dont copy this just like from the ring, on 5 more sites.. or..i will appear one dark quiet night when your not expecting it by your bed with a knife and kill you. this is no joke something good will happen to you if you post this on 5 more pages

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Killertroll said:

Any person that would stick up for Apple or AT&T, is a completely brain washed douche bag. AT&T has the worst service in cell phone history. Apple has the most over priced hardware in history. If you beleive they give a shit about you, your delusional. My kids $9 phone can do MMS on ATT, I hink both of them need to be knocked down notch or two.

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