iPhone 4 Problems? There’s a Lawsuit for That.

It seems the increased speed and efficiency of the iPhone 4 has been matched by the legal profession. It took just days from the new model going on sale for the first class action suit to come Apple’s way.

As regular readers will have guessed, it involves the reception issues caused by the way the antenna is built into the casing of the phone itself and thus more susceptible to interference (largely through heat) when touched by the user’s hand.

The lawsuit formally names Kevin McCaffrey and Linda Wrinn of Maryland as the plaintiffs. If the application to become a class action case is successful, there’d be a single trial where the outcome would apply to any US iPhone 4 buyer who added their name to the case.

Whatever the merits of the case, it’s fair to say the lawyers involved are going full throttle. They’ve come up with nine different claims against Apple:

  • General negligence (they should have known the problem would occur)
  • Defect in design, manufacture and assembly (they didn’t make a working phone)
  • Breach of express warranty (they said the phone worked)
  • Breach of implied warranty for merchantability (whatever they said, it should have worked anyway)
  • Breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose (seriously, it’s a phone, it should still get a signal when you hold it)
  • Deceptive trade practices (it didn’t work and they took our money anyway)
  • Intentional misrepresentation (the dude in the commercial was holding the phone normally, and they didn’t mention the whole not working deal)
  • Negligent misrepresentation (OK, a little mistake we could live with, but come on, a phone that doesn’t work when you hold it?!)
  • Fraud by concealment (two hundred bucks, a monthly fee, and still it doesn’t work?)

AT&T is also on the hook for seven of the claims, all except the defect in design and the breach of express warranty.

Whether any of this makes it into a courtroom is another matter, but reading through it does look as if the countless advertisements showing people holding the phone in the “wrong” way will be the closest thing to a smoking gun.

I have a suspicion this won’t be the last of the claims, however. The fact that the problem disappears with a $29 accessory from Apple may not be a sinister and cynical ploy, but it doesn’t exactly look great to a skeptical lawyer.

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8 Responses to iPhone 4 Problems? There’s a Lawsuit for That.

  1. When Nintendo had a problem with the Wii remotes being thrown into TV screens, it started including (free) rubber grips and wrist straps for its controllers. Problem solved.

    Apple could do the same thing.

    Problem solved.

    And it won't stop them from selling attractive, fancy covers for a higher price than "free." Just like Nintendo with the Wii.

  2. When Nintendo had a problem with the Wii remotes being thrown into TV screens, it started including (free) rubber grips and wrist straps for its controllers. Problem solved.

    Apple could do the same thing.

    Problem solved.

    And it won’t stop them from selling attractive, fancy covers for a higher price than “free.” Just like Nintendo with the Wii.

  3. While I think there's enough to discuss with Apple attitude, I don't really like this kind if lawsuits, because seems to me that go beyond the simple discussion between customer and provider of a good.

    Why are those people suing Apple or AT&T: to get back the money of they telephones or to claim some more money as a damage (in this case for what?)

    Don't we all have more serious reasons to have class actions (oil spills, violence at G20, climate,…) than problems arising from the iPhone?

  4. While I think there’s enough to discuss with Apple attitude, I don’t really like this kind if lawsuits, because seems to me that go beyond the simple discussion between customer and provider of a good.

    Why are those people suing Apple or AT&T: to get back the money of they telephones or to claim some more money as a damage (in this case for what?)

    Don’t we all have more serious reasons to have class actions (oil spills, violence at G20, climate,…) than problems arising from the iPhone?

  5. This goes to show what a sad pathetic bunch of consumers most people are. Instead of trying to sue apple for financial compensation why not give them a chance and some time to remedy the problem? I bet the losers filing these claims are unemployed or rely on welfare checks and feel entitled to all freebies in life

  6. This goes to show what a sad pathetic bunch of consumers most people are. Instead of trying to sue apple for financial compensation why not give them a chance and some time to remedy the problem? I bet the losers filing these claims are unemployed or rely on welfare checks and feel entitled to all freebies in life

  7. There is no one to blame in this case but the manufacturer. More product testing should have been carried out – there's no other argument… If it had been fully tested in all conditions, the flaw would have been discovered before its release.

    They've not even recalled the flawed units!

    All customers to date will be annoyed and frustrated at the error, so I don't blame them in the slightest for wanting to sue, I for one hope they succeed with the Class Action Suit and Apple and other manufacturers learn from the mistake…

  8. There is no one to blame in this case but the manufacturer. More product testing should have been carried out – there’s no other argument… If it had been fully tested in all conditions, the flaw would have been discovered before its release.

    They’ve not even recalled the flawed units!

    All customers to date will be annoyed and frustrated at the error, so I don’t blame them in the slightest for wanting to sue, I for one hope they succeed with the Class Action Suit and Apple and other manufacturers learn from the mistake…