iPhone 4 users file class action suit against Apple and AT&T

By on July 1, 2010, 3:13 PM
Fed up with the iPhone 4's reception issues as well as a lack of support, a couple of early adopters filed a class action lawsuit in Maryland yesterday against Apple and AT&T. The suit focuses on the antenna design flaw that weakens signals and drops calls when a user's hand touches the small gap in the bezel on the left side of the phone. The various claims made in the case are listed below:

  • General Negligence (Apple and AT&T)
  • Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly (Apple)
  • Breach of Express Warranty (Apple)
  • Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantability (Apple and AT&T)
  • Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose (Apple and AT&T)
  • Deceptive Trade Practices (Apple and AT&T)
  • Intentional Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
  • Negligent Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
  • Fraud by Concealment (Apple and AT&T)

Additionally, at least one resident of New Jersey and another of Massachusetts have filed similar independent lawsuits in California. There's no telling how far these cases will make it, as rumors suggest Apple may resolve the issue with a software update. Unfortunately, the company hasn't been especially forthcoming about the problem, based on alleged emails from Steve Jobs.

Some of Jobs' purported messages entirely deny the reception issues, while others imply that Apple is working on a solution. In the meantime, those affected can use a protective shell for the iPhone 4, which should prevent you from touching the problem area or you can simply hold the phone differently.





User Comments: 31

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KG363 KG363 said:

"Oh no! We don't like our phones! Let's files a lawsuit"

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

kg363 said:

"Oh no! We don't life our phones! Let's files a lawsuit"

More like "Oh no! This phone that I've waited impatiently for, traded in my old working phone for, probably stood in line for, signed a new 2 year contract to get, and would really like to USE as a phone isn't working! And the company that rushed it out is just shrugging the issues off or denying them outright, calling us all liars! Let's file a lawsuit"

If you buy a car and it doesn't work, you have legal recourse. And you didn't lock yourself into 2 years of slavery to the car dealer in the process.

Honestly, I can see this being great... If nothing else, it might knock down Messiah Jobs off his pedestal a little and open up the eyes of a few sheep.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Even Imbeciles Seem to be Able to Smell Blood in the Water....

Too bad it's their own.......

For these ********* that had to be the first kids on their collective block to have this new toy, you'd think they'd be more appreciative, rather than suing.

I mean really, isn't this your own stupidity? I didn't think that this phone actually had to work. Aren't you just supposed to take it home and let your "friends" touch it, while spouting about how lucky you were to be able to get it on the first day of sale?

My advice would be to slap some electrical tape on the little turd's antenna gap, then shut your collective yap, save your pennies, and wait for the next piece of doggy largesse that Steve Jobs commands you to buy.......!

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Taking on Apple's lawyers? That's brave. Stupid, but brave nonetheless.

JudaZ said:

If the flaw in the design is in the actuall hardware. Problems with moisture from the palm of a hand in direct connectino with the antenna/antennas..

.. how the h*ll are you gonna fix that with a software update??

You can do a lot of things as a programmer, but i don think you can redisign hardware and make it morph into something diffrent just through some lines of code......at least not yet.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

If the flaw in the design is in the actuall hardware. Problems with moisture from the palm of a hand in direct connectino with the antenna/antennas..

.. how the h*ll are you gonna fix that with a software update??

You can do a lot of things as a programmer, but i don think you can redisign hardware and make it morph into something diffrent just through some lines of code......at least not yet.

Please see my "slap some electrical tape on it" suggestion above.

Perhaps some enterprising third party will begin marketing, "iPhone 4 Antenna Gap Tape". That oughta be good for about 20 bucks a roll.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

1.) doubt this will get very far

2.) this is what you get for buying something so expensive as soon as it comes out

3.) at least people are opening their eyes and seeing that Apple isn't as good as people make it out to be

4.) as mentioned before, how is a software update going to fix a hardware issue?

5.) there's no point in suing. Just take the phone back and get something different. Yes you're locked into a phone plan, but at least you can get a different phone (or at least you should be able to)

6.) the iPhone 4 is clearly defective, therefore it should be recalled and everyone refunded. Consumers should not have to do anything to make their phone work (other than charging it, of course). This includes having to hold it differently. Apple needs to recall the phone and either refund everyone their money or release a fixed version of the phone (yeah...like that'll happen, lol)

I think Apple is getting too big for its britches. The iPad had issues and Jobs placed the blame elsewhere. The iPhone 4 has issues and Jobs says "no it doesn't" and now aparently thinks a software upgrade will fix a hardware problem. Stick with desktop computers, laptops, and mp3 players, Apple. It seems to be the only thing you're good at lately.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

matrix86 said:

4.) as mentioned before, how is a software update going to fix a hardware issue?

From Ars Technica: "Speculation suggests that the iPhone 4 may use programmable capacitors that could be adjusted in real-time to account for the detuning problem caused by the antenna short. So far, though, a rumored iOS update to fix the problem has not materialized."

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

No way. People are actually suing APPLE now? Isn't that only supposed to be done to Microsoft? I thought Steve Jobs was the messiah come to save us from the devil, Bill Gates and his evil empire. What happened to the little Utopian Apple world of love, and joy, and joyness?

Oh wait, that's right. Apple grew up and became just another big corporation. Except they didn't get the memo on customer service. When nobody buys your products, you can afford to ignore your customers, but when a lot of people buy your products, you can't afford to be jerks. The more popular Apple becomes, the more problems they will have, and the less warm and fuzzy people will feel towards them.

I'm happy to see them being sued. Not because I'm sadistic, but because Apple needs to realize it isn't God's gift to man. In order to have a superior product, you have to have superior service.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

How can they sue Apple? I mean, Jobs already said there aren't any reception issues. Everything would be fine if they just did as they were told. Either hold it differently, or get a case. It's THAT simple...it just works...and when it doesn't, YOU'RE wrong, not Apple. Remember that, and start saving up for the next iwhatever. Cause it's gonna be expeeeeensive! lol hey, Jobs' daily bonus has to come from somewhere! you...

Timonius Timonius said:

captaincranky said:

Perhaps some enterprising third party will begin marketing, "iPhone 4 Antenna Gap Tape". That oughta be good for about 20 bucks a roll.

Hehe call it iTape and sell for 100 bucks!

fish4specs said:

Don't you have 30 days to return phone and cancel new contract with ATT. Will be hard to explain why suit filed when phone hasn't even been released 30 days yet.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Maybe this will be Apple's Jonestown...

jink said:

fish4specs is right. 30 days to return the phone if your not happy with it. Suing is the retarded money-grubbing American Way though - it's a way of life - and is eating away at any good karma America has left.

Apple should definitely suck it up and do the right thing and Steve should take the high road on this one - it's simply not up to the standards that Steve and Apple have generally striven to bring to the industry. Take'em back and fix'em/change the design - period.

Guest said:

Or maybe, just maybe, we could use a phone that actually works, not an expensive piece of crap.

Btw, in Romania, where I am from, this piece of s*** costs very close to 3000$ for the 32GB version.

Guest said:

Perhaps some enterprising third party will begin marketing, "iPhone 4 Antenna Gap Tape". That oughta be good for about 20 bucks a roll.

Hehe call it iTape and sell for 100 bucks!

LOL This made my day.

Guest said:

Maybe they want to add the lack of decent vibration to their list of fail iPhone features.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@gwailo247 and @jink - of course, the 30 day refund thing is an option, but this only applies to the phone, not the 2 year locked in contract you signed to get the phone. You can take the iPhone back, but you are still stuck with that AT&T contract, and they are NOT letting anyone back out of them. If the whole reason you signed the contract was to have your precious new Apple toy, and it doesn't work as advertised, you are stuck. Forced to get a new phone? That's a bit of a bait and switch feel to it. That's why AT&T is drawn into the mix, since they are selling the faulty product yet leaving the customer holding their heavy 2 year bag even though it doesn't work properly.

But, the fact that the phone sucks sweaty goat testicles lies squarely on Apple's shoulders, not AT&T, so that makes Apple the only viable target for the lawsuits. And, really, the suits are more to slap Apple and get them to fix/recall/whatever the product, and to nudge AT&T into realizing that they should probably offer contract escape for those who signed exclusively because of the faulty iPhone. I don't think anybody really expects to make anything off this (other than the lawyers). It's just a public donkey punch to knock Jobs off his high horse and make him acknowledge the problems, rather than live in denial. And a little rabbit punch in AT&T's kidneys for being inflexible and selling turds disguised as cutting edge phones.

Guest said:

Bitten Apple makes magic products. How the hell they can resolve HARDWARE issue with a software update?

Guest said:

How can they sue Apple? I mean, Jobs already said there aren't any reception issues. Everything would be fine if they just did as they were told. Either hold it differently, or get a case. It's THAT simple...it just works...and when it doesn't, YOU'RE wrong, not Apple. Remember that, and start saving up for the next iwhatever. Cause it's gonna be expeeeeensive! lol hey, Jobs' daily bonus has to come from somewhere! you...

Umm, aren't people holding it like it shows on all apple ads? Even Jevs Sobs was holding it wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoqh27E6OuU

fish4specs said:

Few years ago we got a new phone for my wife, free with 2 year contract (service was month-to-month). The phone interfered with hearing device she uses. We returned the phone within a couple days and that voided the new contract. Went back to month-to-month.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Guest said:

How can they sue Apple? I mean, Jobs already said there aren't any reception issues. Everything would be fine if they just did as they were told. Either hold it differently, or get a case. It's THAT simple...it just works...and when it doesn't, YOU'RE wrong, not Apple. Remember that, and start saving up for the next iwhatever. Cause it's gonna be expeeeeensive! lol hey, Jobs' daily bonus has to come from somewhere! you...

Umm, aren't people holding it like it shows on all apple ads? Even Jevs Sobs was holding it wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoqh27E6OuU

didn't think I needed the /s : /.............

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Bitten Apple makes magic products. How the hell they can resolve HARDWARE issue with a software update?

The update feature will activate the nanite factory in the iPhone which will dispatch a small army of these creatures to physically alter the hardware of your iphone, then dissolve into a mist that smells like crisp red delicious apples. you wake up with a fixed phone, and a pleasant smell.

JudaZ said:

gwailo247 - or maybe the software patch just activates the location software hidden below....

you will get a visit from some guys in some dark suits and your complaining will be over...

not your problems with the phone ,

but you will not care anymore, you will have a lot of new iProblems to think about.

aj_the_kidd said:

mattfrompa said:

How can they sue Apple? I mean, Jobs already said there aren't any reception issues. Everything would be fine if they just did as they were told. Either hold it differently, or get a case. It's THAT simple...it just works...and when it doesn't, YOU'RE wrong, not Apple. Remember that, and start saving up for the next iwhatever. Cause it's gonna be expeeeeensive! lol hey, Jobs' daily bonus has to come from somewhere! you...

Cant really see your point of view here, considering that its a design flaw in the actually phone. The fact that a possible work around means that users have to pay extra money to get a case, suggest to me that is, that its Apples fault. To each his own i suppose.

fullmetalvegan fullmetalvegan said:

This is why I use Nokia's still. ^_^

Guest said:

True dat!, When you are as Shady as Apple you gotta have the best laywers. Apple will lose this case however, because they have enough evidence against Apple and ATT to clog up the Mississippi River. SON

Guest said:

The whole point of the suit is to payoff the filing lawyers, first firm to file gets the majority

of the fees, other firms serve as recruiters and get smaller percentages of the payout

depending on how many cattle they deliver to the corral. In 2-3 yrs registered owners

will get a mailout financed by apple with a 3 page form to fill out. A year or so later

you will get a coupon worth $5-10 off Iphone 5. Lawyers will divy up $5-20M depending

on the judges discretion and apple will go on its way. There is almost no way for apple

not to do this, it could try defending but likely that will be even more expensive what with

endless depositions, court filings , hundreds of separate suits filed where ever possible.

Guest said:

Oh i could go on for days about how my new iphone has dropped calls, started dialing other people while the phone was still on my ear, it put people on hold and mute, it's lost my passwords to where i had to delete my account on the phone and set it up again. i've taken my phone to apple and they replaced it with a new one to only have the same issue except the new one dropped even more calls, and i've replaced the sim card. i called apple about a week after having the newer phone and got their "technical support" ppssshhhh yeah right. my 12 yr old daughter could do that job. they asked me if i wore an excessive amount of jewelry....ummmm NO, they asked if i made calls in areas with a lot of electronic equipment......ummmm NO, so i told him this is a phone, it seems as though Apple missed the boat on that part of the i"phone". the representative tried to tell me no, it's more of a computer......WHAT????? he assured me if i did a reset on the "phone" that he was confident that everything would be fixed and fine. so i hung up with him did what he told me then the first call i made after the reset i dropped. surprise surprise. now mind you i have been very consious to not touch the sides of the phone. i use only 2 fingers to touch the back to hold it to my face and it still acts up. grrrrrr ok so i called Apple back and they said that now i should try to restore my phone. ok wait a minute, i have had now 2 phones and now they want me to restore it and take another 2 hrs to make the way it should be.....ummmm no 2 hrs on 2 phones, 6hrs waiting in line to get it, 1 hr at the apple store with the first phone and now an hour getting a hold of someone at apple to give me the only solution they know....reset!!.......i've had about enough of the run around so i told the guy i know that's not the problem and he asked me repeatedly what i wanted him to do then......ummmmm fix it!!!!!!! he didn't have anything else to say other than repeating himself again asking what i wanted him to do and i was done!!! i wish i could get in on this law suit for sure!!!!!!! they need to hire better "technical support" people that know what they are talking about and will be able to actually solve problems, or better yet just be straight with me and tell me that it's a piece of crap and to return it. sorry, thanks for listening to me vent. this is a very sore subject with me. OH and 1 last thing, if all this reception issue has to with you touching the sides of the phone then why not give the cases away for free??? no , they want you to spend $30 on a case they don't have in stock that only covers the edges of the phone and doesn't protect the rest of it at all... OK i'm done. breathe.

Guest said:

Hello, well stated in your comment. I think Apple has a lot of great product however, they are not perfect and when they do make mistakes, it's like they are too arrogant to own up to it. They have just as much an occult following. I have a friend who literally gets upset if you say you don't like apple or a particular product they make.

Guest said:

I hope apple goes bankrupt. It's one of the biggest control freak in the business. Every problem is treated as a joke by Steve Jobs and apple. I swear it feels like apple is ran by a bunch of communists.

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