Apple facing second lawsuit over iPhone XR's 'inferior' 2x2 MIMO antennas

Posted:
in General Discussion
A new class action suit claims that Apple purposely misled buyers by using a 2x2 MIMO antenna array in the iPhone XR while knowing it was "inferior" and "defective" compared to the 4x4 MIMO setup in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Apple's iPhone XR lineup
Apple's iPhone XR lineup


Following the same argument as a previous class action lawsuit, and filed in the same court, a new suit attests that by failing to disclose the importance of key iPhone XR component details, Apple knowingly profited from selling "inferior" technology.

Filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the new complaint, embedded below, says that Apple has "breached its express and implied warranties.

The suit is filed on behalf of 13 named individuals, and all other buyers similarly affected. Each of the 13 have reportedly experienced similar issues with their iPhone XR, such as those of one plaintiff, Robert Altman, whose problems are detailed.

"Plaintiff Altmann has been having reception issues since he purchased his phone," says the filing, "including frequent dropped calls, calls cutting in and out, and slow download speeds. Plaintiff Altmann is having worse reception and connectivity than he had with his prior phone, the iPhone X."

"Also, Plaintiff Altmann's family members, who cohabitate with him and do not use or own the iPhone XR, report that they do not have connectivity issues with their phones," it continues.

The case revolves around the 2x2 MIMO array in the phone. Where devices used to have a single antenna for receiving cellular data, a MIMO array lets a phone use two or more such antennae simultaneously. This lets the device can transfer more data at once, which means faster download speeds.

While the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS Max Plus have 4x4 MIMO arrays, the iPhone XR has 2x2 one. "The 2x2 MIMO antenna array is inferior technology that causes connectivity problems such as slow download speeds and frequent dropped calls," says the lawsuit.

"Apple knew or should have know that it was selling an inferior product," it continues, "yet Apple failed to disclose the iPhone XR's defect to consumers who reasonably expected the latest Apple product to have the most advanced technology."

The suit quotes user complaints and press reports about what it refers to as this defect. Testing in publications at the time the iPhone XR was released did show poorer connectivity speeds when compared to the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS Max Plus.

Separately, connectivity problems were also generally reported, and Apple claimed that it would be addressing the issues.

Apple did promote the iPhone XR on an iPhone comparison page with just the information that it contained MIMO capabilities. However, the company's technical description page explicitly states that the iPhone XR uses 2x2 MIMO -- and has since launch.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, plus legal fees, and "an order enjoining Apple from further deceptive and unfair business practices."

iPhone XR Class Action by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    prismaticsprismatics Posts: 154member
    Well it obviously is inferior in a way that MU-MIMO and beamforming works much better with 3x3 or 4x4 compared to the 2x2 since there are one (or two in 4x4) more dimensions in which to solve the optimisation problem to maximise the spectral power at the receiver in uplink direction to the access point, it's not just a matter of parallel channels but a matter of receive / transmit power and certain tricks you can do with 4x4 that you can't do with 2x2 (or at least in a limited way) to improve signal quality (and therefor range, speed and efficiency). 4x4 is much, much more than 2x2 + 2x2. BTW, that's a lot of what 5G (or 5G in its higher bands of mm-wave with its massive antenna contraptions) is all about.

    But of course, it's simpler to advertise not the other advantages of having more antennae but the theoretical PHY transmission rate for the layman.

    So it is not 'inferior' but really inferior in what the word implies. Had I seen this I would have second thoughts buying an XR, but that's probably just my perspective as an electrical engineer / developer.

    Thanks for the article, we don't get to see such interesting things (and the reporting around these things) in Europe ^^
    edited May 2020 gatorguyviclauyyc
  • Reply 2 of 15
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,983member
    Ah, geeze, Edith!
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 15
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member
    I don’t see how they have a case.  This was on the spec sheet.  One reason I chose the max as someone who (used to) travels a lot.  This is equivalent to a class action against an automaker for only disclosing that the smaller engine on a lower end model has less horsepower on a spec sheet.  How does this make sense.  Obviously there are going to be differences between an expensive phone and an inexpensive one.
    edited May 2020 maltzmagman1979viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    Why would you downgrade with “upgrading” the iPhone X to the iPhone XR?

    Can’t fix stupid.  But, I guess you can still call your lawyer for that...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,489member
    Why would you downgrade with “upgrading” the iPhone X to the iPhone XR?

    Can’t fix stupid.  But, I guess you can still call your lawyer for that...
    Remember that 100 years ago, people sued hospitals because they were closed to new patients due to them being full with thos suffering from Spanish Flu. Those cases lost as IMHO, should these.
    Some people are never satisified about anything. Part of the 'me, me, me' world we seem to live in these days.

    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,137member
    I guess people wanted another $3 out of Apple....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    scartartscartart Posts: 196member
    Apple did promote the iPhone XR on an iPhone comparison page with just the information that it contained MIMO capabilities. However, the company's technical description page explicitly states that the iPhone XR uses 2x2 MIMO -- and has since launch.
    Does it? Not the page I'm looking at. It does state 2x2 for the new SE and 4x4 for the Pro models but doesn't mention it at all on the XR Tech Specs page.

    Not that it should make any difference, there are plenty of other differences, such as RAM, which could all be claimed to be inferior but if a product costs half the price as something else then you expect it to be inferior.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,408member
    I truly believe that these class action lawsuits are a practicing financial enterprise driven by the legal industry. The lawyers have a staff of technical experts on staff who glean through the spec sheets of Apple products for grievance opportunities. They then recruit partners in the form of aggrieved “customers” who they instruct and guide through the process to file lawsuits against Apple.  

    The reason I say this is because the overwhelming majority of people who have an issue with a product, be it a phone or a car, simply trade it in and purchase an alternative. They don’t seek out legal advice. 

    This class action lawsuit industry ought to go public and sell shares in their enterprise. I’d suggest the stock ticker symbol SCAM for their public offering. 
    magman1979viclauyycjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,594member
    Apple is at fault for implementing a poor setup but lots of other phones are equally poor. The XR and iPad Air 2 at home continually suffer from connection issues but a lot of factors are involved here.

    There is definitely no way this complaint can go anywhere because there has been no fraudulent or even questionable marketing on Apple's part. Is it a poor design? IMO and in my setup, a definite yes. Is there some kind of legal wrongdoing? A definite no. 

    Marketing is marketing. They said it had MIMO and it does. 
    MplsPviclauyycjony0
  • Reply 10 of 15
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 459member
    Uh... might I suggest a follow-on lawsuit about the XR screen not having as high a contrast ratio as the higher-end models? /s
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 2,883member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple is at fault for implementing a poor setup but lots of other phones are equally poor. The XR and iPad Air 2 at home continually suffer from connection issues but a lot of factors are involved here.

    There is definitely no way this complaint can go anywhere because there has been no fraudulent or even questionable marketing on Apple's part. Is it a poor design? IMO and in my setup, a definite yes. Is there some kind of legal wrongdoing? A definite no. 

    Marketing is marketing. They said it had MIMO and it does. 
    Exactly. 

    It is an inferior design compared to the higher level phones but was never marketed claimed to have any features that it didn’t have. 

    And to @dewme ’s comment - yes. Class action suits are absolutely an industry and a business model for certain parasites...err.. law firms. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    usersinceos1usersinceos1 Posts: 143member
    I bought a Chevy Malibu and then realized that it doesn't go as fast as a Corvette.  Obviously fraud.
    magman1979viclauyyclamboaudi4watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,205member
    Another frivolous lawsuit... Seems people have even more time on their hands during the CCP Virus than they did even before...
    edited May 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 438member
    More evidence as to why dead lawyer jokes are so dear to so many people.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    A new class action suit claims that Apple purposely misled buyers by using a 2x2 MIMO antenna array in the iPhone XR while knowing it was "inferior" and "defective" compared to the 4x4 MIMO setup in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

    Apple's iPhone XR lineup
    Apple's iPhone XR lineup


    Following the same argument as a previous class action lawsuit, and filed in the same court, a new suit attests that by failing to disclose the importance of key iPhone XR component details, Apple knowingly profited from selling "inferior" technology.

    Filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the new complaint, embedded below, says that Apple has "breached its express and implied warranties.

    The suit is filed on behalf of 13 named individuals, and all other buyers similarly affected. Each of the 13 have reportedly experienced similar issues with their iPhone XR, such as those of one plaintiff, Robert Altman, whose problems are detailed.

    "Plaintiff Altmann has been having reception issues since he purchased his phone," says the filing, "including frequent dropped calls, calls cutting in and out, and slow download speeds. Plaintiff Altmann is having worse reception and connectivity than he had with his prior phone, the iPhone X."

    "Also, Plaintiff Altmann's family members, who cohabitate with him and do not use or own the iPhone XR, report that they do not have connectivity issues with their phones," it continues.

    The case revolves around the 2x2 MIMO array in the phone. Where devices used to have a single antenna for receiving cellular data, a MIMO array lets a phone use two or more such antennae simultaneously. This lets the device can transfer more data at once, which means faster download speeds.

    While the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS Max Plus have 4x4 MIMO arrays, the iPhone XR has 2x2 one. "The 2x2 MIMO antenna array is inferior technology that causes connectivity problems such as slow download speeds and frequent dropped calls," says the lawsuit.

    "Apple knew or should have know that it was selling an inferior product," it continues, "yet Apple failed to disclose the iPhone XR's defect to consumers who reasonably expected the latest Apple product to have the most advanced technology."

    The suit quotes user complaints and press reports about what it refers to as this defect. Testing in publications at the time the iPhone XR was released did show poorer connectivity speeds when compared to the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS Max Plus.

    Separately, connectivity problems were also generally reported, and Apple claimed that it would be addressing the issues.

    Apple did promote the iPhone XR on an iPhone comparison page with just the information that it contained MIMO capabilities. However, the company's technical description page explicitly states that the iPhone XR uses 2x2 MIMO -- and has since launch.

    The suit seeks unspecified damages, plus legal fees, and "an order enjoining Apple from further deceptive and unfair business practices."

    iPhone XR Class Action by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

    Does this mean we can finally see a legal solution for all those iPhone xr out there with microphone problems being fixed by putting a piece of tape on the back? Apple to date has denied there is a bad batch of these phones out there so hopefully the mass of affected users will follow suit and go for a class action as well.
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