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Lawsuit claims LCD screens on Apple's current notebooks are not capable of millions of colors

Apple Inc. has been in and out of the courtroom a number of times this year for patent infringements, product defects and mostly to defend its iPhone. This week, Apple finds itself in the courtroom again, this time facing a class action lawsuit alleging the LCD screens on its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops are substandard. The claim also alleges Apple advertised its screens as being superior, but knowingly shipped screens that did not meet its original claims.

The class action lawsuit points out the glossy screens Apple introduced with the launched of its MacBook last year. Apple advertised that the new glossy screens provided users with deeper blacks and whites that are more vibrant. However, many customers experienced graininess and sparkling effects common to dithering techniques, according to the lawsuit.

According to the complaint:

Many such dissatisfied purchasers were chastised by Apple agents and employees for being too picky about their assessments of the quality of the display. Other dissatisfied purchasers were told that they were imagining the complained about defects.

The complaint also points out that many of the disgruntled customers posted messages on Apple's own forums only later to have their posts moderated or completely removed by Apple forum administrators.

"It appears that Apple has engaged in substantial editing of the posts on the discussion forum," the lawsuit indicates.

The lawsuit alleges Apple uses dithering techniques to create an illusion of colors that don't actually exist. In fact, the lawsuit claims if a MacBook or MacBook Pro users installs Windows XP, they will notice superior image quality in areas such as gradients. The test seems to indicate Apple is using some sort of software at work in OS X.

"The displays are only capable of displaying the illusion of millions of colors through the use of a software technique referred to as 'dithering'," the lawsuit claims.

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By archcommus on 5/18/2007 2:13:51 PM , Rating: 2 that when they advertise their panels as capable of 16.7 million colors, you know you're truly getting that without dithering.

Although, who ever said that using software wasn't allowed to achieve the rated color capability?

By creathir on 5/18/2007 2:26:15 PM , Rating: 5
Well, if the PANEL was advertised as achieving 24-bit color, but was really a dithered 18-bit panel, I would be PISSED.

Even though the technique may produce similar results, it is still a major difference in the number of colors that can actually be produced by the panel.

18-bit panels only produce around 260 thousand colors, while 24-bit produce around 16 million colors.

If we were talking about value notebooks, the adage "you get what you pay for" would be extremely true here... but we are talking about one of the most expensive notebook manufactures on the market.

- Creathir

By swizeus on 5/18/2007 2:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
using software never wrong in the first place

the only thing that wrong are the advertisement and the way they treat people's complaint that make them sucks

By hyperbolicparody on 5/19/2007 1:34:17 PM , Rating: 4
I would argue otherwise. Just because 85% of the populace can't tell the difference between hardware and software doesn't make it right not to disclose or mislead.
I a room full of almost identical pictures I can point out the one in a dozen running at 50Hz instead of 60Hz. I can also point out the one with VHold shear problems.... but I can for the life of me NOT tell the difference between 6 and 8 bit panels.
My roommate can tell the difference between the 128Kbps MP3s and the 196Kbps ones on the system in the living room, and he can point out where my Bose 3 Speaker "super expensive el-neato" speaker set doesn't stack up to the REAL 5-Channel system we have.
I can hear dog whistles.... I complained for weeks that the smoke detector in the hall was broken, told I was crazy until they replaced it because the maintenance guy did testing and it didn't work.

Does this make me a "framerate snob" and him a "music snob"... he can HEAR the difference between the hardware 5-channel and the software emulation of it and I can not. He'd be REALLY angry if he paid a premium for a software fix.

You really shouldn't market software solutions when your CORE market is the group of people who are going to notice. The guy at Best-Buy and nation-wide ad campaigns are distinctly different things in a court of law. It's a matter of feeling cheated, like you've been taken for a ride....
...and the panel manufacturers are largely based in countries where the US Judiciary wouldn't be able to get to them.

By McScoot on 5/18/2007 9:20:07 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, I think if they say 16.2 million colours you know that it's a 6 bit panel. If they say 16.7 it's 8 bit.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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