The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Apple sued over iPhone, iPad storage

Last Updated Jan 2, 2015 11:56 AM EST

Ever wonder why there never is enough space on your iPhone or iPad? A lawsuit filed this week against Apple Inc. alleges that upgrades to the iOS 8 operating system are to blame, and that the company has misled customers about it.

In the legal complaint filed in California, Miami residents Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara accuse Apple of "storage capacity misrepresentations and omissions" relating to Apple's 8 GB and 16GB iPhones, iPads and iPods. Orshan has two iPhone 5 and two iPads while Endara had purchased an iPhone 6.

They contend the upgrades to the operating system end up taking up as much as 23 percent of the storage space on their devices. Included in the lawsuit was the graph below which details how different devices are allegedly impacted by iOS 8:

screen-shot-2015-01-01-at-10-35-53-am.png

"In addition to making material misrepresentations and omissions to prospective purchasers of Devices with iOS 8 pre-installed, Apple also makes misrepresentations and omissions to owners of Devices with predecessor operating systems," according to the complaint, which seeks class-action status for others who purchased 16GB devices.

"These misrepresentations and omissions cause these consumers to 'upgrade' their Devices from iOS 7 (or other operating systems) to iOS 8," it said. "Apple fails to disclose that upgrading from iOS 7 to iOS 8 will cost a Device user between 600 MB and 1.3 GB of storage space - a result that no consumer could reasonably anticipate."

Apple declined to comment on the allegations to CBS News.

The lawsuit also accused Apple of taking advantage of this shrinking storage by "aggressively" marketing its monthly-fee-based iCloud storage system.

"Using these sharp business tactics, Defendant gives less storage capacity than advertised, only to offer to sell that capacity in a desperate moment, e.g., when a consumer is trying to record or take photos at a child or grandchild's recital, basketball game or wedding," the lawsuit contends. "To put this in context, each gigabyte of storage Apple shortchanges its customers amounts to approximately 400-500 high resolution photographs."

Storage space has been an issue for Apple in the past.

It won a legal fight over the amount of advertised storage in iPods in 2007, according to The Verge. The complaint was lodged over a 8GB iPod Nano only having 7.45GB of usable storage, which is just a 7.5 percent difference.

It also is coming off another legal challenge, where a jury in California last month found in favor of Apple in a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit over the price of its iPod music players.

  • Michael Casey

    Michael Casey covers the environment, science and technology for CBSNews.com