Apple is facing another lawsuit concerning its FaceTime app, according to documents uploaded by Apple Insider. The suit claims Apple forced users to upgrade to iOS 7 by breaking FaceTime in iOS 6 in order to save money on a data services deal with Akamai.

The claims in the lawsuit were based on Apple’s patent infringement dispute with VirnetX. Apple allegedly forced FaceTime upgrade rendered old devices like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S and made the app unusable on the smartphones, the consumer class action filed in a California court claims.

FaceTime, which launched in 2010, included two ways of connecting from one iPhone to another, “peer-to-peer method” and the “relay method,” which used third-party servers run by Akamai to transport data back and forth. Before November 2012, most FaceTime calls were connected through the peer-to-peer method and only five to 10 percent used the relay method. However, the number of the relay method usage spiked after a jury found Apple’s peer-to-peer technology for FaceTime infringed on patents held by VirnetX. Apple was forced to pay a $368 million fine and steer away from the peer-to-peer method.

Apple then saw multi-million dollar charges from Akamai because of the relay method. According to the suit, an internal memo with the subject "Ways to Reduce Relay Usage" circulated among employees as the company sought alternatives. Apple then made changes in iOS 7 to avoid the fees by creating a peer-to-peer method without infringing VirnetX patents. However, people were still using the relay method for FaceTime on gadgets running on iOS 6.

The lawsuit states :

“To regain FaceTime capability, those users had to either transition to iOS 7, or buy an entirely new Apple device with iOS 7 preinstalled. Apple did this knowing that for millions of users, moving to iOS 7 was highly problematic because it was essentially incompatible with certain Apple devices. For iPhone 4and iPhone 4S users, for example, the coerced move to iOS 7 subjected their devices to slowness,system crashes, erratic behavior and/or the elimination of their ability to use critical functions on their phone.”

Apple Internal Emails on Breaking FaceTime

The lawsuit then revealed internal Apple emails that allege Apple intentionally broke the FaceTime app.

Apple engineering manager Patrick Gates sent an email to other employees stating, “Hey, guys. I’m looking at the Akamai contract for next year. I understand we did something in April around iOS 6 to reduce relay utilization.”

Apple engineer Gokul Thirumalai responded to Gates and said, “It was a big user of relay bandwidth. We broke iOS 6, and the only way to get FaceTime working again is to upgrade to iOS 7.”

The lawsuit claims the forced upgrade left millions of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users with iOS 6 or earlier operating systems with two choices, remaining on the iOS 6 device without the ability to use FaceTime, or upgrade to iOS 7 and “accept the significant reduction in functionality that their iPhone would suffer as a result.”

Overall, the class action suit claims Apple violated California's unfair competition law and is liable for trespass to chattels, meaning the company interfered with another person's possessions. The plaintiff is seeking undisclosed damages.