Apple sued over iPhone 4 reception issues

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Numerous lawsuits were filed this week against Apple, as a number of consumers hope to take the company to task over reception issues that arise with the new iPhone 4 when the left side of the device is covered with a hand.



At least three class-action complaints were filed in California, Maryland, and Texas. The largest was filed in a U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., and has a list of 11 plaintiffs included in the complaint, residing in California and New Jersey. The other two each include one plaintiff.



Apple has been accused of violation of the Federal Communications Act, three counts of products liability related to negligence, defect in design and breach of implied warranty, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, unfair business practices and more.



"The iPhone 4 manifests design and manufacturing defects that were known to Defendants before it was released which were not disclosed to consumers, namely, a connection problem caused by the iPhone 4's antenna configuration that makes it difficult or impossible to maintain a connection to AT&T's network," the California complaint reads.



"Defendants have failed to provide customer support to assist iPhone 4 customers regarding this defect. Consumers are left with three options: hold their phones in an awkward or unnatural manner, return their phones and pay 10% 'restocking fee,' or purchase Apple's own 'bumper' cases for their phones, costing $29.99 in addition to the premium they have already paid for the phones themselves, which may somewhat ameliorate the iPhone 4's defects."







The complaints also target AT&T, the exclusive wireless carrier of the iPhone in the U.S. They allege that the company helped to design, manufacture and market the new iPhone 4.



The California suit also references e-mails allegedly sent by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, in which he reportedly told one customer that they were holding their iPhone 4 "the wrong way."



The class action suit filed in Oakland seeks damages, and also asks the court to issue an injunction on Apple and AT&T, forcing them to "undertake an informational campaign" to let the general public know the "wrongfulness" of the companies' practices. It was filed on Wednesday, June 30.



The first sign of a potential lawsuit arise on Tuesday, when a California law firm asked people, via their website, to share their experiences with reception on the iPhone 4. Wednesday's California lawsuit was filed by that same law firm: Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff LLP.



After the iPhone 4 was released last week, Reports began to grow that Apple's latest handset can lose reception when gripped wit the left hand. On some devices, covering or even just touching the point on the metal perimeter antennas meet on the bottom left corner of the phone can cause loss of signal and even dropped calls.



When the iPhone 4 was announced earlier this month, Apple revealed that the metal band around the outside of the device has breaks in it to allow the multiple antennas inside the device -- for cellular service, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more -- to establish connections. The larger metal piece on the right side of the phone serves as the GSM/UMTS cellular antenna, and the smaller portion on the left side is responsible for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.



Apple publicly responded to reports of reception issues, stating that any mobile phone has reception issues when held improperly. The company suggested that customers avoid gripping the handset in the lower left corner, or use "one of many available cases" to prevent one's skin from touching the metal band.
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Comments

  • darendinodarendino Posts: 126member
    Apple need a kick in the bollocks by consumers.



    Jobs is being an ignorant twunt by telling customers 'they are holding it wrong' The iPhone 4 is a defective design and Apple is in denial that it is defective.
  • noexpectationsnoexpectations Posts: 481member
    Hey, everyone who bought an iPhone 4, you still have 24 days to return it for a FULL REFUND! There is no need to sue Apple. Just get your money back and get a life.
  • fullgazfullgaz Posts: 17member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DarenDino View Post


    Apple need a kick in the bollocks by consumers.



    Jobs is being an ignorant twunt by telling customers 'they are holding it wrong' The iPhone 4 is a defective design and Apple is in denial that it is defective.



    I couldn't agree more. it's positively outrageous that such a device found its way out of Apple's labs. How could they not find this problem in their testing? Did they always test the device with a case on? Aside for the obvious technical deficiencies of the new iPhone, aren't they a bit worried about the PR fallouts of such a massive blooper???
  • nanoakronnanoakron Posts: 122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DarenDino View Post


    Apple need a kick in the bollocks by consumers.



    Jobs is being an ignorant twunt by telling customers 'they are holding it wrong' The iPhone 4 is a defective design and Apple is in denial that it is defective.



    2 simple, easy, basic questions for you before I choose to ignore you completely -



    1. Do you have an iPhone 4?

    2. Are you able to reproduce this issue yourself?



    If you answer no to either of these - just get the fuck off this new bandwagon.
  • steve's sonsteve's son Posts: 32member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    Hey, everyone who bought an iPhone 4, you still have 24 days to return it for a FULL REFUND! There is no need to sue Apple. Just get your money back and get a life.



    Did you read the article? It quotes consumers who purchased the iPhone 4 will be required to pay a 10% restocking fee; upon returning the device.
  • shauneshaune Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    Hey, everyone who bought an iPhone 4, you still have 24 days to return it for a FULL REFUND! There is no need to sue Apple. Just get your money back and get a life.



    That's. What I was about to say... It's been 1 freaking week. Those attorneys should be charged with malpractice!!!



    Return the dam phone if you don't think it works.
  • nanoakronnanoakron Posts: 122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FullGaz View Post


    I couldn't agree more. it's positively outrageous that such a device found its way out of Apple's labs. How could they not find this problem in their testing? Did they always test the device with a case on? Aside for the obvious technical deficiencies of the new iPhone, aren't they a bit worried about the PR fallouts of such a massive blooper???



    So I'm guessing you've got an iPhone 4 yourself and that you're able to reproduce this antenna issue? I mean, there can't be any other reason you're coming in here and asserting your opinion with such certainty?



    Oh what, you mean you've never put your hands on an iPhone 4 and you're just parroting what every naysayer has to say on this issue?
  • darendinodarendino Posts: 126member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    2 simple, easy, basic questions for you before I choose to ignore you completely -



    1. Do you have an iPhone 4?

    2. Are you able to reproduce this issue yourself?



    If you answer no to either of these - just get the fuck off this new bandwagon.



    My girlfriend has one with Orange - and she cannot get a signal when she holds it. So I have gone off buying one now.



    I am staying the fuck on this bandwagon !
  • msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    Hey, everyone who bought an iPhone 4, you still have 24 days to return it for a FULL REFUND! There is no need to sue Apple. Just get your money back and get a life.



    But thats not the American way!



    Sue baby sue!
  • msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FullGaz View Post


    I couldn't agree more. it's positively outrageous that such a device found its way out of Apple's labs. How could they not find this problem in their testing? Did they always test the device with a case on? Aside for the obvious technical deficiencies of the new iPhone, aren't they a bit worried about the PR fallouts of such a massive blooper???



    Could have really happened.



    Apples paranoia might have really screwed them here. They wanted no one to see these new phones, including tons of people in Apple that they could very well have done all their testing with the phones in cases. If that did happen, the problem would not have risen.
  • waveghelwaveghel Posts: 6member
    This is not to understand for Europeans, really you Americans are real mad, you funny silly crazy people, is money all there is in your heads...? Just get a bumper for the iPhone or, indeed, hold it in another way!

    Geez, Americans and their lawsuits!
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 17,192member
    This will need to be addressed soon by Apple, one way or another. It is a serious issue, seemingly affecting a fair number of people (including me).



    Returning, while fine in principle, is not a painless process. It involves time, a restocking fee, a replacement that could be prone to the same issues, ATT-related contract hassles, etc. Apple will have to address those issues as well.



    As a shareholder too, I don't like this.
  • darendinodarendino Posts: 126member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Could have really happened.



    Apples paranoia might have really screwed them here. They wanted no one to see these new phones, including tons of people in Apple that they could very well have done all their testing with the phones in cases. If that did happen, the problem would not have risen.



    Exactly, it is like buying the latest sports car, only to find when you hold the steering wheel the engine stalls !!!!!



    The fact is Apple made a big mistake on this new product and their response is of denial. I mean, come on - a phone that loses it's signal when you HOLD IT.



    My girlfriend is unable to use this iPhone 4 for calls as it loses the signal when handled. she refused to pay £30 for a rubber band to go round it and is taking it back for a refund and cancelling her contract with Orange.



    Like the poster said, Apple's paranoria has screwed them this time, maybe wrapping the iPhone 4 in an iPhone 3Gs case was not such a great covert idea.
  • shobizshobiz Posts: 207member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DarenDino View Post


    My girlfriend has one with Orange - and she cannot get a signal when she holds it. So I have gone off buying one now.



    I am staying the fuck on this bandwagon !







    +1



    I don't give a damn if someone does NOT had an iPhone. They still have the right to an opinion. Something the opinionated azzes on this site should already know.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 17,192member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Could have really happened.



    Apples paranoia might have really screwed them here. They wanted no one to see these new phones, including tons of people in Apple that they could very well have done all their testing with the phones in cases. If that did happen, the problem would not have risen.



    Stop being silly. Unless you know for sure that Motorola or HTC or Nokia tests theirs without cases/bumpers. (And for sure that Apple did not, throughout the testing process).
  • kyle76kyle76 Posts: 54member
    I have an iPhone 4, and I can reproduce the problem nearly 100% of the time -- right down to "Searching ..." and "No Signal" -- at which point I am unable to make a call. Otherwise, I love the phone, and of course I can hold it in such a way that the problem is avoided when making a call. I've never liked cases, and I really don't like the ugly Apple bumpers. It's certainly something I can work around, but if there is any way to improve it with a software upgrade, I wish they would get on with it.
  • darendinodarendino Posts: 126member
    I think we can all agree that the iPhone has a flaw that when held like a 'phone' it loses it's signal and ability to make calls.



    All Apple has to do is admit it is flawed, recall the devices and fix it.



    By being in denial and telling people not to hold it like a phone is like something out of a Monty Python sketch.



    There are worldwide reports this iPhone 4 is showing the same defect, no matter what carrier.



    Apple is being a greedy corporation and refuses to accept the 1000s of people who say that the phone is defective.



    I change my handset every 18 months and currently have the iPhone 3Gs - I, and many of my friends, work colleagues have never heard of or owned a phone that loses it signal when held.
  • cousin dirkcousin dirk Posts: 28member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TFA


    Consumers are left with three options: hold their phones in an awkward or unnatural manner...



    Funny, I find that I have to hold my phone in an awkward or unnatural manner in order to get this problem to manifest. Still, maybe that's just me.



    That said, there is still considerable debate as to whether this is a hardware issue or a software issue, a manufacturing defect or a design flaw.
  • kedakeda Posts: 722member
    My wife and I have been waiting to finally get an iPhone until this release. Right now, that decision is on hold.



    At the very least, I think Apple has exhibited terrible public relations. Telling consumers that they are holding the phone wrong is beyond laughable. Can any of you imagine the reaction of this board if those words came from a company like HTC or Microsoft?



    I hope that Apple is able to improve this situation with a software patch. Until then, the reports of reception issues continue to grow, and Apple is digging a deeper hole through their responses to the seemingly repeatable problem. At this point, a lawsuit seems like an inevitability.
  • jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    2 simple, easy, basic questions for you before I choose to ignore you completely -



    1. Do you have an iPhone 4?

    2. Are you able to reproduce this issue yourself?



    If you answer no to either of these - just get the fuck off this new bandwagon.



    Wow. I didn't know there was such a thing as AI forum police. Do you have a little Apple Insider badge too?



    By the way, those are not nice words for one member of the Apple cult to say to another.
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