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Apple taken to court over unwanted iOS 7 install download

A small-claims complaint asks Apple for a way to remove the automatically downloaded iOS 7 install file on iOS 6 devices and earlier, something that can take up space.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

A California man is taking Apple to court over what he says were "unwanted" downloads of iOS 7 onto his family's gadgets.

Mark Menacher, a resident of Poway, Calif., filed a small-claims complaint against Apple's CEO Tim Cook in the Superior Court of California in San Diego on Thursday, asking for the removal of the iOS 7 install file -- something that's downloaded to devices automatically when they're connected to power and a Wi-Fi connection.

That file does not install iOS 7 on a device without user interaction, though does prompt users to do so every time they restart their device.

Some users were irked to discover this feature last month, which is designed to get users onto the latest version of Apple's iOS software, updates that often contain security fixes and new features. However in the case of iOS 7, it also means a brand new look and feel of the OS, along with potential compatibility issues with some pieces of software, and a sizable download that can take up 1GB or more. The software also cannot be downgraded within iTunes, or from on the device itself.

The automatic downloading behavior was present in the jump from iOS 5 to 6 as well, however that update did not come with a visual overhaul.

"Apple's disregard for customer preferences in relation to iOS7 is corporate thuggery," Menacher said in a statement. "Steve Jobs was reportedly rough on company employees in pursuit of happy customers, but Tim Cook apparently cultivates a culture of contempt for customer satisfaction in pursuit of corporate profits. It is a policy that will eventually fail."

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Menacher's complaint, which follows one made with the Better Business Bureau last month, asks for a way to get rid of the downloaded installer file, as well as $50. Menacher told CNET he is "considering" elevating the issue to a higher court, and exploring whether there's support for class action status.

Apple's iOS 7 has seen the fastest adoption of any version of the software according to both Apple and third-party tracking firms. Analytics company Mixpanel, which keeps a live tracker up here, currently lists iOS 7 on more than 72 percent of all devices.

Updated at 3:28 p.m. PT to further clarify how the downloaded installer works.