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Apple CEO Steve Jobs holding an iPhone 4  (Source: Brisbane Times)
Suit seeks unspecified damages

The iPhone 4 had only been on the market for a few hours when some users started to complain that the device had poor reception. Part of the issue is the design of the antenna, which is integrated into the phone and visible on the metal band sandwiched between the front and back glass of the smartphone.

Shortly after the issues caught on in the media, the subject of class action suits started being bandied about. The first of the suits has been filed and is seeking class action status in the United States Court for the District of Maryland. The two main plaintiffs in the case are Kevin McCaffrey of Nottingham, Maryland and Linda Wrinn of Baltimore, Maryland. The suit seeks a jury trial.

A few of the major claims in the suit are general negligence on behalf of Apple and AT&T, defect in design, manufacture and assembly on behalf of Apple, breach of express warranty and implied warranty by Apple and AT&T, deceptive trade practices by both companies and intentional misrepresentation by both companies. A total of nine claims are made.

The suit documents don't offer a specific amount of money being sought in the "Prayer for Relief" section and asks the judge to award any such relief that may be just and proper.

The early complaints allege that when the iPhone 4 is held just right the iPhone drops from four or five bars when sitting on the table to one bar or in some cases no service at all when held in the hand and much of the antenna is covered by the palm. The solution to the problem according to Steve Jobs is to simply not hold the smartphone that way.

Apple has continued to maintain that there are no reception issues on the phone and that the performance users are seeing is normal.



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RE: My bold prediction:
By wgbutler on 7/1/2010 4:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
I own an iPhone 4 and don't think this is appropriate. I don't know about the other countries in the world, but here in the U.S. AT&T has a 30 day return policy, no questions asked. If someone is not satisfied with their new iPhone, they can take it back for a full refund.

The only thing the lawsuit does is raise the price of producing the product, which Apple and AT&T will just pass on to their consumers. I guess its not so much fun to support the trial lawyers when they are coming after you.

It's going to get to the point where any company will have to have an army of lawyers anytime they release a new product because of the all ambulance chasers out there and people looking to be relevant and/or make a quick buck. Innovation will suffer and prices will increase.

I agree that Apple was careless with the antenna and that they should offer free cases to any iPhone 4 purchaser, but in the end it should be the free market and consumer choice that punishes them and not some stupid lawsuit.

But I guess in a way this is justice because Apple is a politically liberal company and the democrat party which they support is the party of lawyers and frivolous lawsuits.


RE: My bold prediction:
By callmeroy on 7/2/2010 8:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
So , essentially, what you are saying is "let's not call out a company on shoddy design, worksmanship or functionality there by encourage other companies of forth coming products to slack off on R & D and QA practices before a products release...."

Sorry but I'm tired already of the lack of accountability in this country from private citizens, now you want to ease accountability from companies.... no...just no.


RE: My bold prediction:
By wgbutler on 7/2/2010 9:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

So , essentially, what you are saying is "let's not call out a company on shoddy design, worksmanship or functionality there by encourage other companies of forth coming products to slack off on R & D and QA practices before a products release...."


Wrong! What I am saying is "let's stop all the crappy frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of doing business, make everything more expensive and reduce the rate of innovation."

If you want to call out Apple for designing a faulty product, be my guest. Blog about it, put it on the news, or even better, design a superior product for a lower price.

But don't run off and file a stupid lawsuit and waste everyone's (including the courts) time because you are trying to make a quick buck.

Lawsuits are for when you have actually been DAMAGED and want compensation. AT&T offers a full refund for 30 days, no questions asked. If you couldn't get a refund, or if the phone blew up and burned your hand, I would agree with the lawsuit.

If this lawsuit is successful, it will set an ugly precident. People will start suing any kind of company that makes any product with any kind of design flaw whatsoever. And nothing is perfect, every product has one kind of flaw or another. So where do you draw the line?

But this all about some lawyers wanting to make a quick buck (and some anti-Apple crusaders wanting to punish Apple for its success) and Apple is an easy target with this well publicized design flaw. This type of mentality is exactly why the country is going down the tubes.

But I guess the one good thing about this is Apple is getting a real taste of the results of the types of political policies it supports.


RE: My bold prediction:
By jinky2010 on 7/10/2010 12:56:26 AM , Rating: 2
You are wrong. Apple is refunding in full as they know iphone 4 is defective but At&t still charging 10% restocking fee so it is not full refund and of course I am not even saying how much they are collecting in usage charges even for a day. So do your numbers and you get the picture of defective devices and their practices.

Same phone -- can buy any where either apple or At&T but 2 different return policies.


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