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In brief: We're used to hearing about Apple being sued for millions or even billions of dollars, but the figure being demanded in this case is a lot smaller. A San Francisco man has filed a lawsuit against Cupertino for $1,383.13, the total cost of an iPhone 12 that Apple refused to fix despite it still being under warranty.
Insider reports that Theodore A. Kim's lawsuit, filed in small claims court, is the result of Apple employees refusing to repair his iPhone 12, which he claims is under warranty until October 2022.
According to Kim, he bought the iPhone 12 from an authorized Apple seller in Vietnam in October 2020. Upon returning to the US during the pandemic, the phone struggled to read US SIM cards. He phoned Apple and was told to bring the handset into one of its local retail outlets.
Kim said that not only did Apple refuse to fix the handset, the company also returned it to him with a broken SIM tray.
"And so I brought it into the store and they sent it to the repair depot — then they came back and said, 'Yeah, we're not going to fix this because it's been tampered with.' And I said: 'Tampered with in what way?'"
A few weeks after his iPhone 12 was returned to him, Kim filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Apple responded by saying that if the device had been damaged while in its possession, the company would have repaired it.
Apple says it now considers the matter closed. Kim, desperate to get his phone working, offered to pay for the repairs out of his own pocket, but Apple refused that option, too.
Kim even tried sending an email to Tim Cook in late June, asking for the Apple CEO's help in resolving the matter. Not entirely surprisingly, Kim is still waiting for a reply, so he turned to the small claims court to try and get the phone's $1,383.13 cost returned.
"I found a blog post of someone in Seattle successfully suing Apple in small claims court," Kim said. That 2012 case involved a blogger taking Apple to the SCC after his 2008 MacBook Pro's graphics card stopped working.
"So I said, 'Well, OK, why don't I try the same avenue,'" he said. "I kind of jokingly said, 'Well, this is like a David and Goliath kind of situation.' We'll see what happens."
Apple, as we all know, has long been an adversary of the right to repair movement, unlike rival Microsoft. We recently heard that replacing the iPhone 13's display will stop Face ID from working—unless, that is, Apple carries out the repairs.