Class Sues Motorola Over Cliq Smartphone

     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – Motorola promised people who bought its Cliq XT cell phone that it would update the phone’s Android operating system – but it didn’t, making the phone “obsolete” and unable to run the latest versions of Facebook, Angry Birds, Gmail and other applications, angry humans say in a federal class action.
     Lead plaintiffs Elyse Wood and Jack Haught say Motorola sold them their smartphones running a year-old, Google-owned Android operating system upon its May 2010 release. They say Android version 1.5, released in May 2009, is still the only option for the phone.
     Android version 2.1 was available when the Cliq was released, the plaintiffs say, and Motorola promised, through tweets and posts on customer support pages on its website, that the phone would be eligible for an operating system upgrade, according to the complaint.
     They cite an October 2010 tweet by Motorola: “We are currently working to upgrade CLIQ and CLIQ XT to Android 2.1 in Q4. Apologies for any confusion.”
     But in February, Motorola announced on its customer support page: “After comprehensive testing of the Android 2.1 upgrade for the CLIQ XT, we have concluded that this device will remain on Android 1.5.”
     The class claims Motorola abandoned them with an outdated device.
     “The current versions of many of the most popular Android mobile applications available today will not work on Android 1.5, including applications such as Facebook, MySpace, Gmail, Angry Birds, Dropbox, Google Maps, Google Goggles, Kindle, Wells Fargo, USA Today, CNN, Yahoo Mail, YouTube, Groupon, MSNBC, Fox News, NY Times, NPR News, My Verizon, Blockbuster, QuickOffice Pro, and numerous others,” the complaint states.
     “Accordingly, any failure to update a device’s operating system can significantly hinder the function of the device and quickly make it obsolete.”
     Haught says that an in-store salesperson told him that his phone would be able to run Android 2.1 “imminently” when he bought it.
     Wood claims she would not have bought it had Motorola told her it would be unable to run Android 2.1.
     Android 4.0, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” is slated to be released in the fall.
     “As of April 1, 2011, less than 3 percent of all mobile phones utilizing the Android operating system were using version 1.5,” the complaint states.
     Motorola reported more than $10 billion in revenue in 2010 and has sold “hundreds of thousands” of Cliq XTs, according to the complaint.
     Android, developed for smartphones and computer tablets, is popular for its ability to run Java and open source systems.
     The class seeks injunctive relief, restitution and attorneys fees for false advertising, unfair competition and fraud by omission.
     They are represented by Sean Reis with Edelson McGuire of Rancho Santa Margarita and Jay Edelson with Edelson McGuire of Chicago.

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