Apple faces dumb lawsuit over the size of iOS 8

iOS 8 has had its share of problems, and now we can throw one more on the pile: a lawsuit. Two plaintiffs have filed a suit claiming their 16GB iPhones and iPads don’t actually come with 16GB of storage, and iOS 8 takes up too much space—and Apple should make that clearer, in case we are all idiots who don’t get that operating systems do use storage.

Ars Technica’s iOS 8: Thoroughly Reviewed includes a look at how much more storage space iOS 8 consumes, versus a clean install of iOS 7.1.2, and it does gobble a significant chunk: about 740MB on iPhones and 1.03GB on iPads. If you’re using a 16GB device, that’s 4.5 to 6.4 percent. Which doesn’t sound like a ton, but 740MB can hold a lot of photos.

This lawsuit is still pretty silly on its face, for a couple of reasons. The plaintiffs want the class to include not just people who upgraded their devices to iOS 8, but people who bought new devices with iOS 8 preinstalled on them. But those people didn’t “lose” anything—they never had that storage space, because every computing device that ships with an operating system works the same. Some of the advertised space is taken up by the OS. That’s baseball.

The complaint comes with its own table of capacity figures, sort of like Ars Technica’s…except that the data displayed is “represented capacity” of 16GB versus the actual capacity with iOS 8 installed. So that particular table isn’t showing that iOS 8 hogs more space than iOS 7—just that it uses capacity, period.