(CN) - Palm and Sprint Nextel caused "catastrophic data losses" on Palm Pre and Palm Pixi smart phones because of a defective Web-based backup system, a class action claims in San Francisco Federal Court. The class says Palm's sole backup system relies on "cloud-computing," in which users store information on the "technology providers' massive servers via the Internet."
(Facebook and Google's Gmail also use cloud computing.)
The class claims Palm touted cloud computing to sell its products, claiming it would allow users to send their data to a new phone or device should theirs be lost, destroyed or defective.
The service is designed to update every 24 hours. When a new backup is complete all previously stored information is overwritten and becomes irretrievable, and neither Palm nor Sprint operates a secondary backup system, according to the complaint.
But the class claims that this webOS system frequently loses data when customers switch from one device to another. They add that, unlike iPhones and BlackBerries, Palm phones do not sync with users' personal computer additional software and hardware.
The class claims Palm and Sprint negligently encouraged their customers to rely on the webOS service, and that the defendants failed to invest enough resources in developing the technology.
Hundreds of thousands of Palm Pre phones have been sold since it was released in June, according to the complaint, which adds that Sprint is "the exclusive wireless carrier for webOS devices in the United States".
The class seeks damages for breach of contract, consumer law violations, unfair business practices and unfair competition.
It is represented by David Parisi with Parisi & Havens.
Subscribe to Closing Arguments
Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.