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Apple is being sued for its cloud backup monopoly on iOS

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A class-action lawsuit filed in early March 2024 accuses Apple of restricting certain files critical to cloud backups of its devices to its own iCloud platform, and raising the price of the service to the point where it is ‘generating almost pure profit’.

The filing for Gamboa v. Apple Inc, submitted in the US District Court of the Northern District of California, would include a nationwide class of users impacted by the monopoly, and a class of Californians who claim to have been overcharged for an iCloud plan.

We are not lawyers and make no claim to be scholars on California’s corporation laws - however, with Bloomberg noting that iCloud gives Apple a 70% share of the cloud storage market, owing to the sheer ubiquity of their mobile devices, we think it's fair to question the fairness of locking backups to one service and trapping users in one ever increasing pricing model.

iCloud’s competition

iCloud’s competitors include Amazon, Google and Microsoft, which all have cloud storage services available on iOS devices for the purposes of storing user data. 

The prospective lawsuit alleges, however, that requiring the use of iCloud for device backups makes maintaining accounts across multiple services - which may be cheaper, and have a more generous free cloud storage allowance than iCloud’s 5GB - inconvenient.

Apple has yet to respond to the filing, but it seems unlikely that it’ll be able to convincingly argue that backup data specific to Apple devices is sensitive enough to require locking to iCloud when, in 2022, Apple settled another class-action lawsuit, Williams v. Apple Inc, for $14.8 million,  allowing it to continue to deny that it breached its own terms and conditions by storing user data on servers belonging to its competitors.

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