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Apple settles class-action suit over iPhone 4 antenna, offers US customers $15 or Bumper

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
A new settlement reached between Apple and members of a class-action lawsuit over an antenna issue with the iPhone 4 will offer U.S residents who purchased the device $15 in cash or a free bumper case.

CNet reported on Friday that preliminary approval for the settlement had been reached in the deal. The class-action complaint, which drew together 18 separate suits, accused Apple of "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4--particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software."

Ira Rothken, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, told the publication: "We believe that the Apple iPhone 4 settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable. We believe that it allows members of the class to choose, and they can get $15 of cash or a bumper, so we believe that type of choice is proportional to the circumstances."

It's not immediately clear what limit Apple has set on the total settlement payout, but, given the success of the iPhone 4 over the past year and a half, the company could face requests for hundreds of million of dollars from tens of millions of eligible customers. Of course, any settlement is unlikely to make much of a dent in Apple's savings, as the company has stockpiled close to $100 billion in cash.

Not long after the iPhone 4 was released in June 2010, reports emerged that the handset was subject to a loss in signal when held a certain way due to Apple's antenna design, which divided the steel band around the side of the device into multiple antennas.

The issue quickly snowballed and was informally dubbed "Antennagate" by some pundits. A number of lawsuits cropped up over the issue just a week after the launch of the iPhone 4. Apple held a press conference that July to address the problem and offered free bumper cases for iPhone 4 units purchased through Sept. 30, 2010.


Apple instituted its 2010 free Bumper program via its App Store app.


Interested parties will eventually be able to get more information about the settlement at www.iPhone4Settlement.com, but the website is not up yet and is expected to go live in the coming weeks, according to the report. Eligible customers will also be notified of the settlement by email before April 30.

Apple redesigned the antenna for the iPhone 4S in order to resolve the previous generation's reception issues. The company promises better reception and fast data transfer speeds with the new design. The iPhone 4S includes new intelligent-switching technology that allows the device to transmit and receive on dual GSM and CDMA antennas.




[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 93
Shouldn't have given them a dime.
post #3 of 93
So what happens to those who already took advantage of the free bumper program?

I hope Apple weeds them out as they have already been compensated.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #4 of 93
I thought the Apple-branded bumpers retailed for $29...

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #5 of 93
So after a big suit, Apple agrees to the same solution they already offered (a free bumper). At least the lawyers will get a HUGE payment.
post #6 of 93
Interesting ...but at least it's over, even though it allegedly never was an issue. \
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #7 of 93
Just for fun Tim Cook should arrange for ten million bumper cases to be delivered to the law firm's office.

Ger a delivery docket signed at reception then give a street full of trucks the signal to start unloading.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #8 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

So after a big suit, Apple agrees to the same solution they already offered (a free bumper). At least the lawyers will get a HUGE payment.

Yep. That's why the lawyer said, "We believe that the Apple iPhone 4 settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable."

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post #9 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Yep. That's why the lawyer said, "We believe that the Apple iPhone 4 settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable."

I'm not implying Apple did anything wrong, but as with all class action lawsuits, this settlement is BS. Either they did something wrong and should have to actually compensate the victims more than 2-3% of the (subsidized) purchase price of the defective product, or they shouldn't have to pay anything at all.
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by moooooser View Post

I'm not implying Apple did anything wrong, but as with all class action lawsuits, this settlement is BS. Either they did something wrong and should have to actually compensate the victims more than 2-3% of the (subsidized) purchase price of the defective product, or they shouldn't have to pay anything at all.

With the iPhone in the US you had 30 days to return it without a restocking fee and switch your plan back to the original one. On top of that Apple already offered the free Bumper or case, and I think they even extended the 30-day return policy. There was absolutely no reason these people would have had to endure the iPhone 4 since June 2010.

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post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So what happens to those who already took advantage of the free bumper program?

I hope Apple weeds them out as they have already been compensated.

I"m sure they will as disqualified for this program. this kind of thing is likely why you had to submit your serial number to get a case last time and while you will have to this time as well

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #12 of 93
Just don't hold it that way.
post #13 of 93
I keep forgetting, were there any reports of this problem outside the United States?
post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Interesting ...but at least it's over, even though it allegedly never was an issue. \

It was an issue but not the level of issue that the media and these cases have tried to make it. Most people had no issue with their phones. Only those in crappy service areas were affected. Hell even Consumer Reports brought up the service area issue although all the reposts ignored that part.

No one was ever able to prove that the antennas were actually defectively designed or that the issue was overwhelming. The bumper game before and now is just a PR ploy because it is easier to placate people with a token than to try to educate them with the facts when they don't want to hear it.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #15 of 93
Well, that was worh the bother. Whoop-de-fucking-doo!!
post #16 of 93
This is the sort of stupid thing you can do when you've got billions in the bank.

But seriously, if it's so bad, why are these folks still using their iPhone 4? $15 seems high. $15 x however many were sold sounds like a bad business decision. I guess, like a rebate, not that many folk will really take them up on this, huh? I mean the battery on my Optimus V doesn't always last the day. I bought an extended battery for $20. Where's my settlement?
post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I keep forgetting, were there any reports of this problem outside the United States?

A scant number of reports. All of which came from areas where service from the carrier was known to be less than stellar. And were perhaps 1/100th of a percent of the units sold in that particular country, same as in the US.

The real Antennagate wasn't that the phones were defective or that Apple released a shoddy design, but rather that the media blew the whole thing up to sound like something huge all for the page hits that any mention of Apple gets

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #18 of 93
Ridiculous lawsuit. Never had a problem. I guess I never learned to hold the phone purposely to screw with the reception -- something that had to be done to experience the problem.

Maybe I can start another class action suit against CRT vendors. I still have this monitor that warps the image when I get my hand to close to the screen.

And, my iPad can get so smudged with my hand oils that I have difficulty reading on it. I need to be compensated!
post #19 of 93
All of your are customers and should be happy that Apple is giving out fixes or compensation for us.

Why all the hate? You people dont own Apple or even work for them.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #20 of 93
When you can drop a call with the light touch of a single fingertip, it's a big problem. The "poor service area" excuse was just that; an excusewasn't an issue with the 3 previous iPhones I've owned in the same service area (and isn't an issue with my current iPhone 4S). The problem wasn't the media blowing it out of proportion, but that the media called it good and collectively walked away with the bumper case program (cases don't fit where I use the phone most; was not a solution).

If I used my phone as a phone more than I do, it would've been a deal-breaker and a refund for me rather than an annoyance that I decided to live with.
post #21 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbert View Post

When you can drop a call with the light touch of a single fingertip... /snip

I have sold and handled well over a thousand iPhone 4's since they were launched (including my own), I have NEVER seen this happen, not once in eighteen months.
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post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I keep forgetting, were there any reports of this problem outside the United States?

Australia here.

We had issues here as well, but in extremely low percentages.

My girlfriend's iPhone 4 has the issue but, as stated by Apple itself, it only becomes a problem when you are in an area of extremely poor reception (or on a crappy network). I have a 4S and, although it will also report poor reception in the same areas, the chance of disconnection is less likely.

Ironically, the advice given about 'not holding it that way' does address the issue and, unlike many other handsets, we have always had the issue of falling back on Apple's superb customer service and returning it. However, overall it has been a relative non-issue for us (hence the reason for still having the phone).

And it beats holding an Android handset in ANY way.
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If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
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post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbert View Post

When you can drop a call with the light touch of a single fingertip, it's a big problem. The "poor service area" excuse was just that; an excusewasn't an issue with the 3 previous iPhones I've owned in the same service area (and isn't an issue with my current iPhone 4S). The problem wasn't the media blowing it out of proportion, but that the media called it good and collectively walked away with the bumper case program (cases don't fit where I use the phone most; was not a solution).

If I used my phone as a phone more than I do, it would've been a deal-breaker and a refund for me rather than an annoyance that I decided to live with.

The media called it good? What more would you have expected Apple to do?

If you're that unsatisfied with the device, there's that old' return policy. Apple isnt obligated to provide you a phone that's perfect for your specific needs. It's your choice to use it.
post #24 of 93
Since I bought my iPhone 4 shortly after it was released, I've tried everything short of inserting it anally in my desperate efforts to get its connection to fail. Given how much I yearn to embrace the shrilly righteous moral imperative of the self-designated victim, I find the damned thing's refusal to drop a single call nothing less than infuriating.

I don't use a case: it has no scratches. I once dropped it while exiting my therapist's building: it (accurately) announced a text while bouncing down a flight of concrete fire stairs. One nasty Monday I threw into a (full) bathtub during a particularly annoying conversation with my mother: when I toweled it off, she was still squawking along uninterrupted. I forgot it was in that clever little pocket in my rain-drenched backup until it rang from inside the dryer: it was uncomfortably warm so I had to use the speaker to answer the call.

There's nothing to complain about: I absolutely hate the thing. I pray daily it will die so that I can justify switching to Android.
post #25 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

With the iPhone in the US you had 30 days to return it without a restocking fee and switch your plan back to the original one. On top of that Apple already offered the free Bumper or case, and I think they even extended the 30-day return policy. There was absolutely no reason these people would have had to endure the iPhone 4 since June 2010.

As I said above, I'm not suggesting Apple has done anything wrong. I'm simply stating that the class action lawsuit settlement doesn't really help anyone other than the lawyers. If a product is truly defective, how does refunding 2-3% of the price of the product actually help the victims? It doesn't. It's a token gesture at best, while lining the pockets of the lawyers.
post #26 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by moooooser View Post

As I said above, I'm not suggesting Apple has done anything wrong. I'm simply stating that the class action lawsuit settlement doesn't really help anyone other than the lawyers. If a product is truly defective, how does refunding 2-3% of the price of the product actually help the victims? It doesn't. It's a token gesture at best, while lining the pockets of the lawyers.

In your first post you specified 2-3% of the subsidized price, but $15 is actually 7.5% of the $199 subsidized price that most people paid for their 16gb iPhone 4. To me that seems like a pretty substantial refund for a fake problem that most people never experienced.
post #27 of 93
That is any cell Phone I've owned. These lawyers aren't any better than the leaches in the patent troll business.
post #28 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I keep forgetting, were there any reports of this problem outside the United States?

It's only impervious to the problem when it's inside the RDF. Steve Jobs (the CEO of Apple at the time) demonstrated on stage in front of a live audience it was an issue with the phone design and it dropped more calls than the previous generation phone. He even said that the notch at the base was like a target they accidentally marked out to make the phone fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60

I have sold and handled well over a thousand iPhone 4's since they were launched (including my own), I have NEVER seen this happen, not once in eighteen months.

But surely you don't make calls from all of them in poor reception areas, just your own.

You can see the demo side by side of the improvement:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiV9lc76qrg

Engineers make mistakes, nobody is perfect. At least they saw the issue and fixed it.
post #29 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Shouldn't have given them a dime.

I'm a shareholder and I disagree.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Well, that was worh the bother. Whoop-de-fucking-doo!!

I was for the lawyers probably.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #31 of 93
Fanboys all of you that keep on defending Apple and denying the problem because you have not experienced the problem or more likely because you don't "think" that the problem exists. I love Apple products but when they make a mistake we have to recognize it and not stick our heads in the sand. I have an iPhone 4. I don't live in a poor reception area. I ca reproduce the signal drop 100% of the time. Aside from that the iPhone 4 is a great device but Apple's denial of the problem and Steve's answer of "don't hold it that way" are not acceptable.

Wow, we were able to say that we love Apple and they made a mistake in the same paragraph! Now that's progress. Next session, we will work on looking at the mirror and saying "hi fanboy!"
post #32 of 93
The only dropped calls I ever have are clearly due to the carrier. I look at my phone when the call drops, plenty of bars.

Hey ambulance chasers, when are you going to go after AT&T over the word 'unlimited?'
post #33 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I have sold and handled well over a thousand iPhone 4's since they were launched (including my own), I have NEVER seen this happen, not once in eighteen months.

I call bs. I was able duplicate this every time just by touching one fingertip to the offending spot in the phone.
post #34 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

All of your are customers and should be happy that Apple is giving out fixes or compensation for us.

Why all the hate? You people dont own Apple or even work for them.

All the hate is justified. People give their money to Apple, making them part of the club. This was an attack on them, personally, because they have made Apple the centerpiece of their digital lifestyle. If Apple is made to look bad, they too look bad, because they and Apple are basically the same thing, with huge overlaps. By buying Apple products, they have endorsed Apple and everything about Apple. They have melded their own identity with that of Apple. If Apple gets blemished, so too does their own credibility. If Apple is seen as shiny and cool, so too are they.

One needs to defend the companies who make the products that one chooses to buy, lest one be seen as as a worthless human being. It is normal.

For example, if someone owns a Toyota Camry, any/every piece of information about Toyota reflects on him personally. If a Yaris gets a recall over "bad brakes" or something, it is up to him to correct the score, or else all his friends get to call him a moron. That is just the way things work in the real world.




/Slappy
post #35 of 93
I like the Bumper case. The one I got for free the last time is starting to fall apart.
I could use another one and free is better than $29.99
post #36 of 93
Back then, Apple sent me a refund for the Apple Bumper I bought. What happens now? I'm using the same case with my 4S and it's getting sort of raggedy. I could use a new one. The new cases are different than the old cases in the openings, since the 4S has the mute switch in a slightly different location, and the space around the 30-pint connector is larger so more plugs fit.
post #37 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

So after a big suit, Apple agrees to the same solution they already offered (a free bumper). At least the lawyers will get a HUGE payment.

Will someone PLEASE think of the poor lawyers!
post #38 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugzy View Post

I like the Bumper case. The one I got for free the last time is starting to fall apart.
I could use another one and free is better than $29.99

Except you won't be GETTING another one for free. You had your free ride with no real reason. That's it.
post #39 of 93
Does this apply to Verizon phones or just AT&T? Did they have the antenna redesigned by the time the Verizon phone came out?
post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Except you won't be GETTING another one for free. You had your free ride with no real reason. That's it.

I'm sure there will be plenty of blood suckers who try to get $15 out of Apple even if they had no problem with their phone at all.
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