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iPhone customer is upset with Apple over the lack of a user-replaceable battery

The iPhone has been parading through news headlines ever since its early January unveil at MacWorld 2007. When the bulk of the tech press was roaming around Las Vegas totally underwhelmed by the Consumer Electronics Show, Apple was spilling the beans on a product that had been long rumored.

During its unveil, Apple went over the bulk of the iPhone's features and reporters were quick to point out its deficiencies. A few minuses that were harped upon with regards to the iPhone included its lack of a physical keyboard and its sealed battery.

The lack of a physical keyboard has been overcome by many iPhones users who have become accustomed to the on-screen alternative, but many still harp on the lack of a user-replaceable battery.

Apple claims that the iPhone's battery is good for 400 charge/discharge cycles. The design specifications for the iPhone note that the battery will retain 80 percent of its charge after 400 cycles have been exhausted.

For those that weren't satisfied with 400 charge cycles or experience greatly diminished battery life, Apple announced its $85.95 battery replacement program. Under the program, customers would pay $79 plus $6.95 shipping in the event of an iPhone battery failure. And considering that users would be without an iPhone a week or more for repairs, Apple also announced that it would rent an iPhone ($29) to those who couldn't be without a phone.

iPhone users now have a cheaper option with AppleCare coverage. AppleCare extends the iPhone's warranty from one year to two years and is available for $69.

One iPhone customer wasn't happy at all with the iPhone's battery life or the two alternatives to replacing a defective battery and filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple as a result. In the suit, Jose Trujillo claims that:

Unknown to the Plaintiff, and undisclosed to the public, prior to purchase, the iPhone is a sealed unit with its battery soldered on the inside of the device so that it cannot be changed by the owner.

The suit goes on state:

The battery enclosed in the iPhone can only be charged approximately 300 times before it will be in need of replacement, necessitating a new battery annually for owners of the iPhone.

To the first point; the fact that the battery was not replaceable was disclosed to the public from the very beginning and is nothing new. Secondly, the suit claims that the iPhone battery can only be charged for 300 times before it needs replacement. Apple clearly states that the iPhone’s battery will retain 80 percent capacity even after its design specifications of 400 cycles.

The full text of the complaint can be viewed at Gizmodo, but it's doubtful that the suit will gain much traction in court.

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RE: specs
By mindless1 on 7/31/2007 1:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget what happens when marketing departments get ahold of engineering data. This 400/80% is quite likely a best-case scenario and could ignore some variables. Without the test scenario to determine these numbers we can't assume field use will mirror their result. "Up to x hours"? How about if they gave average or minimum instead?

You write that your phone hasn't "needed" a new battery, but that says nothing about how long you use it per charge, what the remaining capacity is at this point, or what the capacity:current draw is per device. IMO, today margins are thinner than ever as manufacturers seek to provide ever smaller phones.

It's a bit beside the point though, that $80+ for the battery is just ridiculously excessive.

RE: specs
By y2chuck on 7/31/2007 1:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, that's true, those numbers are going to be best case scenario marketing numbers. Didn't think of that.

In my case, my Samusung is still good for 4 to 5 days of standby time and I would guess-timate 3 to 4 hours of talk time. I probably charge it 3 times per week.

I still don't think this lawsuit has any merit to it.

RE: specs
By mindless1 on 8/2/2007 8:24:05 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, but it's a different product and different manufacturer. Samsung, unlike Apple, doesn't go out of their way to twist truth on a regular basis.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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