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Apple issues statement on iPhone 4 'antenna-gate' lawsuit settlement

post #1 of 121
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After settling a class-action lawsuit over the "antenna-gate" controversy that surrounded the iPhone 4 in 2010, Apple has issued a statement declaring the $15 payouts apply to a "small number" of people.

"This settlement relates to a small number of customers who indicated that they experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4 and didn't want to take advantage of a free case from Apple while it was being offered in 2010," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said in a statement to The Loop.

The settlement offers users either a free iPhone bumper case, which the company sells for $29, or they can instead opt to receive $15 in cash. Those who held out for the lawsuit essentially gain nothing, as Apple's original settlement to users in 2010 was to give away free bumper cases to iPhone 4 buyers as well.

In fact, though the iPhone 4 free bumper case program technically ended on Sept. 30, 2010, Apple quietly still offered free cases after that deadline to customers who contacted AppleCare support with reception issues. Those involved in the lawsuit only gain the new option of accepting $15, which is about half the value of the bumper case.

Apple's settlement applies to 18 separate lawsuits that were drawn together into one class-action complaint. Apple was accused of "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sales and servicing of its iPhone 4."

Apple initiated the giveaway after complaints about loss of signal when covering the bottom left corner of the iPhone 4 gained a considerable amount of media attention. Apple responded by stating that all smartphones experience some form of attenuation when held in a certain way.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 121
Quote:
"This settlement relates to a small number of customers who indicated that they experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4 and didn't want to take advantage of a free case from Apple while it was being offered in 2010," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said in a statement to The Loop.

This is what I don't get.

"We offered customers a free case to solve a problem that didn't exist. They wouldn't shut up, so after a year and a half of wasting our time and theirs, we're giving them the same offer again."

They had their chance. They shouldn't be given squat.

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post #3 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The settlement offers users either a free iPhone bumper case, which the company sells for $29, or they can instead opt to receive $15 in cash.

Wonder how much the parasite lawyers got.
post #4 of 121
It was a bad design for those who use no case, but most people do and the 4S even fixed the issue for those that don't. Steve was arrogant about it though, which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, even John Gruber.
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post #5 of 121
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Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Wonder how much the parasite lawyers got.

We all know this is the real reason the lawsuit happened. What can you do.
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post #6 of 121
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This is what I don't get.

"We offered customers a free case to solve a problem that didn't exist. They wouldn't shut up, so after a year and a half of wasting our time and theirs, we're giving them the same offer again."

They had their chance. They shouldn't be given squat.

Except for the obviously high sunk cost of the legal fees it sounds like this shouldn't cost Apple much at all. Most people already took advantage of the free cases nearly 2 years ago. The cases cost Apple less than $15 to produce so I imagine that regardless of which option the people in the class chose the total cost to Apple will be less than $2 million. I can't believe that even 100,000 people pursued legal action over the initial offer of a free case.
post #7 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

Except for the obviously high sunk cost of the legal fees it sounds like this shouldn't cost Apple much at all. Most people already took advantage of the free cases nearly 2 years ago. The cases cost Apple less than $15 to produce so I imagine that regardless of which option the people in the class chose the total cost to Apple will be less than $2 million. I can't believe that even 100,000 people pursued legal action over the initial offer of a free case.

I'd wager that with the severity of the case and with retainers this was probably given to some newer lawyers at the firm and likely didn't cost Apple much of anything.

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post #8 of 121
I've owned an iPhone 4 since it was released. Not ONCE have I had a dropped called because of this. I personally know around 20 people who have the phone, and personally have asked them at one point or another if they've ever had reception issues. Most of them look at me in a weird way when I ask that, and the answer is always 'No'. This admittedly anecdotal evidence makes it very difficult for me to believe that this was a real, widespread, inherent problem of the iPhone 4 design. Its an inherent phone antennae issue in general, and when combined with spotty coverage and artificial misinformation campaign of outrage from sites such as Gizmodo which the media then jumped upon because of the Apple name, it became this manufactured 'scandal', certainly not deserving of any class action lawsuits or compensation. But hey, good for them. Hope they spend that $15 well.
post #9 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

Except for the obviously high sunk cost of the legal fees it sounds like this shouldn't cost Apple much at all. Most people already took advantage of the free cases nearly 2 years ago. The cases cost Apple less than $15 to produce so I imagine that regardless of which option the people in the class chose the total cost to Apple will be less than $2 million. I can't believe that even 100,000 people pursued legal action over the initial offer of a free case.

The lead attorney for the settlement says the affected class includes 25 million buyers, or a possible $375 million payout, not including attorney fees. I believe someone is mistaken if claiming the settlement applies to only a small group.

EDIT: I see AI's error(?). They've taken Apple's statement that "This settlement relates to a small number of customers. . " and changed it to say "Apple has issued a statement declaring the $15 payouts apply to a "small number" of people." That's not what Apple said.
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post #10 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It was a bad design for those who use no case, but most people do...

I actually doubt most people use a case. A large amount of people, sure, but certainly not most.
post #11 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

I actually doubt most people use a case. A large amount of people, sure, but certainly not most.

I probably would if Apple made an iPhone dock that could work without first removing the Bumper.

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post #12 of 121
Darn it! I wanted a free bumper case.

Wait, I already have one
post #13 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This is what I don't get.

"We offered customers a free case to solve a problem that didn't exist. They wouldn't shut up, so after a year and a half of wasting our time and theirs, we're giving them the same offer again."

They had their chance. They shouldn't be given squat.

Maybe they didn't want to use a case and felt it was unacceptable to put up with a design fault in such an expensive phone.

Of course, you would never be able to understand this unless this issue was regarding another brand.
post #14 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Maybe they didn't want to use a case and felt is was unacceptable to put up with a design fault in such an expensive phone.

Other than there not being a design fault, I suppose that's a valid explanation.

Quote:
Of course, you would never be able to understand this unless this issue was regarding another brand.

Of course. Naturally. Because that's obviously the case here. No pun intended.

There's not a rolleyes emoticon on the entire Internet large enough to end the above.

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post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Maybe they didn't want to use a case and felt it was unacceptable to put up with a design fault in such an expensive phone.

Of course, you would never be able to understand this unless this issue was regarding another brand.

They had a standard 30 days to return it with no restocking fee or requirement to be held to their cellular contract if the device was unsuitable for them.

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post #16 of 121
I have a white iPhone 4, and when I bought it I had hoped that something had been done about the reception issues (considering the white iPhone 4 was a late release). Anyway, if I don't use a case my iPhone's reception dies as soon as I touch the sides, regardless of how I hold it. I absolutely must use a case

Anyway, my wife's iPhone 4S has no problems whatsoever.
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post #17 of 121
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They had a standard 30 days to return it with no restocking fee or requirement to be held to their cellular contract if the device was unsuitable for them.

Who in their right mind would return an iPhone?? Simply doing so would be an indication you didn't have standing in a suit by reason of insanity. Right?
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post #18 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Other than there not being a design fault, I suppose that's a valid explanation.



Of course. Naturally. Because that's obviously the case here. No pun intended.

There's not a rolleyes emoticon on the entire Internet large enough to end the above.

Yeah right...no design fault. Look at the chart below, the iPhone 4 has crap reception. I'm sure you will come up with some spin to say it comes out on top though.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4971/a...-att-verizon/2
post #19 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Yeah right...no design fault. Look at the chart below, the iPhone 4 has crap reception.

We're not going over this again. When tens of millions of phones are still sold today with absolutely no design change and NONE of them are exhibiting this problem and NO ONE is actively complaining about it, it was NOT a problem with the phone. It was a problem with AT&T (and in Australia, in areas of equally poor service). Period.

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post #20 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Yeah right...no design fault. Look at the chart below, the iPhone 4 has crap reception.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4971/a...-att-verizon/2

You can't trust what Anandtech says about iPhone4 reception compared to others. Everyone knows they don't like Apple and diss their products whenever they have a chance to.

/s
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post #21 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

We're not going over this again. When tens of millions of phones are still sold today with absolutely no design change and NONE of them are exhibiting this problem and NO ONE is actively complaining about it, it was NOT a problem with the phone. It was a problem with AT&T (and in Australia, in areas of equally poor service). Period.

LOL now you're blaming it on the networks....maybe your next excuse will be ultraviolet rays from the sun are targeting only the iPhone 4 so that cant be Apple's fault either.
post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

NO ONE is actively complaining about it

I'll happily complain about it as I said - my iPhone 4 is useless without a case; dies instantly. With regards to returning a product, in NZ it's a nightmare as we don't have proper Apple stores. If we want to return something, we basically end up sending it to the US and are therefore without a phone for 6 weeks.
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post #23 of 121
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You can't trust what Anandtech says about iPhone4 reception compared to others. Everyone knows they don't like Apple and diss their products whenever they have a chance to.

/s

Right, they produce a quite decent size list of late model phones with scientific proof of reception levels but you can't trust that because they "diss" Apple. lol ok, good logic.
post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcd View Post

I'll happily complain about it as I said - my iPhone 4 is useless without a case; dies instantly. With regards to returning a product, in NZ it's a nightmare as we don't have proper Apple stores. If we want to return something, we basically end up sending it to the US and are therefore without a phone for 6 weeks.

Dont worry about TS, he thinks he speaks for all Apple users.
post #25 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

LOL now you're blaming it on the networks....maybe your next excuse will be ultraviolet rays from the sun are targeting only the iPhone 4 so that cant be Apple's fault either.

So where are all the complaints from Verizon and Sprint iPhone 4 users? Where are the complaints from users in European cities?

Or maybe, just MAYBE, there's no problem.

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post #26 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

We're not going over this again. When tens of millions of phones are still sold today with absolutely no design change . . .

IFixIt suggested that Apple began adding a non-conductive layer to the metal band sometime soon after the first antenna problem reports surfaced, which would help explain the derth of overseas antenna complaints.

EDIT: Just noticed that you threw the Verizon iPhone in there as evidence there was never a reception problem. I'm very sure you already knew the antenna issues that were reported early on applied to only the GSM/UMTS iPhone4, which is not the re-engineered Verizon phone, and particularly not Sprint's version built months after ATT began selling them.
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post #27 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So where are all the complaints from Verizon and Sprint iPhone 4 users? Where are the complaints from users in European cities?

Or maybe, just MAYBE, there's no problem.

Not Europe but Telstra, who is Australia's biggest network with the best coverage, gave the iPhone 4s a "blue tick" meaning good coverage in areas with low reception but the iPhone does not. In fact when the iPhone 4 was released they did give it a blue tick but only when a case was used.

By the way, Telstra craps all over AT&T and any other American network. This comes from a Ex-pat yank living here too.

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-pho...phones/iphone/ scroll down the bottom.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...reception.html
post #28 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


EDIT: Just noticed that you threw the Verizon iPhone in there as evidence there was never a reception problem. I'm very sure you already knew the antenna issues that were reported early on applied to only the GSM/UMTS iPhone4, which is not the re-engineered Verizon phone, and particularly not Sprint's version built months after ATT began selling them.

Of course he knew but why let the facts get in the way of good spin.
post #29 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Not Europe but Telstra, who is Australia's biggest network with the best coverage, gave the iPhone 4s a "blue tick" meaning good coverage in areas with low reception but the iPhone does not. In fact when the iPhone 4 was released they did give it a blue tick but only when a case was used.

By the way, Telstra craps all over AT&T and any other American network. This comes from a Ex-pat yank living here too.

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-pho...phones/iphone/ scroll down the bottom.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...reception.html

So what it is? Are all iPhone 4s not Verizon's network faulty or did they secretly put some magical forcefield over the metal?

And what happened to the argument that external antenna was clearly a stupid idea that would require all iPhones to be recalled the entire design scraped for one with an internal antenna? Call me crazy but the iPhone 4S appears to use an external antenna. The argument that they improved on the design is moot as that is like saying that all previous model CPUs are defective because the next iteration has been improved.

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post #30 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


"We offered customers a free case to solve a problem that didn't exist. They wouldn't shut up, so after a year and a half of wasting our time and theirs, we're giving them the same offer again."

They had their chance. They shouldn't be given squat.

That pretty much sums it up right there... I 100% agree.
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post #31 of 121
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It was a bad design for those who use no case, but most people do and the 4S even fixed the issue for those that don't. Steve was arrogant about it though, which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, even John Gruber.

BS. In my family, we have two Nexus phones (different models). One belongs to my step brother, the other my step father. I am using the iPhone 4 (one shipped within the first two weeks of production). Both the Google phones experience the same issue if held a certain way. I have an old Motorola phone where the instruction book even tells you if you hold the phone a certain way it will experience signal loss. The only difference with the iPhone is it was easier to find the exact area to touch. Some might say that is a design feature because on the iPhone it isn't a mystery about the area you should avoid touching.

The iPhone 4S might have a different design, but that doesn't mean the original was defective. The iPhone 4S was redesigned to accommodate adding CDMA support.

Most importantly, Apple extended the time people could return the phone for a full refund if unhappy. Interestingly enough not many people elected that option.

This song pretty much sums it all up for me.
post #32 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Of course he knew but why let the facts get in the way of good spin.

Again, so explain why this problem isn't still happening when absolutely no change has been made to the iPhone 4 since its original launch.

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post #33 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Again, so explain why this problem isn't still happening when absolutely no change has been made to the iPhone 4 since its original launch.

How do you know "absolutely no change was made"?
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post #34 of 121
I would personally prefer that this level of attention be given to the battery life issue instead.
post #35 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

How do you know "absolutely no change was made"?

You don't imagine iFixit would have said something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beegmuddahfocker View Post

I would personally prefer that this level of attention be given to the battery life issue instead.

Indeed. 5.1 can't come soon enough, but the battery issue isn't lawsuit-worthy by any stretch of the imagination.

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post #36 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by beegmuddahfocker View Post

I would personally prefer that this level of attention be given to the battery life issue instead.

They'll figure that one out in due time. It's a harder issue to nail down as to the cause, and another one that not everyone is experiencing. Even a proposed "fix" in an update reportedly caused some users to see the problem when they didn't originally, while some others saw improvement. It's a strange one.
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post #37 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You don't imagine iFixit would have said something?


http://www.ifixit.com/blog/2010/07/1...antenna-issue/

EDIT: Sorry TS, I've had some 'Oh..." moments today too.
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post #38 of 121
To me things are just unbelievable.

My world of logic allow only two possibilities.

1- Apple lied and sold, knowingly, a machine that actually did not work properly. Apple should pay the price, and that should mean "enough money that Apple never does that again". In the case of Apple, I'd advise a 60 billion fine.

2- Apple did not lie. Apple did the right thing all along (either by reacting to a slight problem for a small number of people, that can be solved by replacement of the handset or use of free bumper, either because the problem doesn't exist). Apple should brush off any idiot, an the lawyers should go broke.

In WHICH UNBELIEVABLE WORLD do we have either a company encouraged to cheat and steal, either a band of scumbag lawyers encouraged to cheat and steal?


------

Note that the problem exists, my iPhone 4 had it, but it's not relevant to the logic here.

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post #39 of 121
I haven't used a case on my phone since I got it, this hasn't been a problem for me. If it was for anyone else, I can't say but most people I know don't even use a case on their GSM iPhone 4.

From what I remember, the Verizon CDMA iPhone 4 had the same behavior even with an altered antenna.
post #40 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So where are all the complaints from Verizon and Sprint iPhone 4 users? Where are the complaints from users in European cities?

Or maybe, just MAYBE, there's no problem.

Hello Tallest Skil! Paris and Amsterdam calling

My iPhone 4 was one of the first to reach European stores, so I'd expect it's related. I experienced the issue on Vodaphone NL (Netherlands) and Bouygues Telecom (France).

To be honest, I find quite irritating that people STILL refuse to acknowledge the problem. It's not world-breaking, it is solved with a (ugly) bumper, but Apple should have said "we made a mistake, you can return your phone if you want, or choose to keep it with a bumper". They said "we made no mistake, but due to the bad press, you can return your phone if you want, or choose to keep it with a bumper".

I liked my iPhone 4. I'll get an iPad 3 if it has "retina"-like resolution, as it seems it will be the case. I do iPhone apps for a living, I've got iMac and MBA, my family got Macs due to me. I love Siri.

I still think Steve Jobs was a jerk for basically saying I'm a liar. I still think you are irritating for doubting some users were affected, as your phrase ironically suggests.

Here's my complaint from European cities.

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