Apple hit with another "millions of colors" lawsuit

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Just days after settling a lawsuit in which it was charged with misrepresenting the quality of its notebook screens, Apple Inc. has been hit with a second class-action suit rife with similar allegations over one of its iMac displays.



According to the new suit, filed in a San Jose court Monday by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP, Apple is deceiving consumers by concealing that its new 20-inch iMac monitors are inferior to the previous generationÂ?s and those of the new 24-inch iMac.



Specifically, the firm takes issue with a marketing claim from the Mac maker that both the 20-inch and 24-inch iMac are capable of displaying Â?millions of colors at all resolutions." While this claim holds true for the current 24-inch model and previous generation 20-inch model -- both of which display 16,777,216 colors on 8-bit, in-plane switching (IPS) screens -- the new 20-inch iMac display is said to be capable of 98 percent fewer colors (262,144).



"Apple is duping its customers into thinking theyÂ?re buying 'new and improved' when in fact theyÂ?re getting stuck with 'new and inferior,'" Brian Kabateck, Managing Partner of KBK, said in a statement.Â* "Beneath AppleÂ?s 'good guy' image is a corporation that takes advantage of its customers. Our goal is to help those customers who were deceived and make sure Apple tells the truth in the future."



While Apple describes the display of both the 24-inch and 20-inch iMacs as though they were interchangeable, KBK asserts that the monitors in each of the desktop systems are of radically different technology.



The new 20-inch iMac features a 6-bit twisted nematic film (TN) LCD screen, which the firm claims is the "least expensive of its type," sporting a narrower viewing angle than the display of the 24-inch model, less color depth, less color accuracy and greater susceptibility to washout.



Apple on its website says: "No matter what you like to do on your computer Â? watch movies, edit photos, play games, even just view a screen saver Â? itÂ?s going to look stunning on an iMac."



However, KBK argues that the inferior technology in the 20-inch iMac is "particularly ill-suited [for] editing photographs" due to its limited color potential and the distorting effect of its color simulation processes.



"Apple is squeezing more profits for itself by using cheap screens and its customers are unwittingly paying the price," Kabateck said.



Apple last week agreed to a settlement in a similar class-action lawsuit brought on by two professional photographers, which charged that the company's Intel-based notebooks were only suited to display the "illusion of millions of colors through the use of a software technique referred to as 'dithering,' which causes nearby pixels on the display to use slightly varying shades of colors that trick the human eye into perceiving the desired color even though it is not truly that color."



The terms of that settlement were not made public.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 133
    Everyone wants a piece of the $18.4 Billion pie!



    http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...-question.aspx
  • Reply 2 of 133
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This is one lawsuit I agree with. Anyone know how much more it would cost Apple to use a proper display?
  • Reply 3 of 133
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Even though I think the dithered/non-dithered argument behind these lawsuits is a bit of a made-up issue, as a day to day user of that piece of poop known as the iMac 20" I can't help but wish this one wins.



    Apple has indeed severely lowered their quality standards here and they really need to be taken to account over it.



    The 20" screen part is absolutely atrocious.



    It's only slightly better than a Dell (and that's something I'd have thought I would *never* hear myself say about an Apple product).
  • Reply 4 of 133
    hezekiahbhezekiahb Posts: 448member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post


    Everyone wants a piece of the $18.4 Billion pie!



    http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...-question.aspx



    Are you surprised? When you have money everyone is out to get you.



    I think Apple is doing what all other PC manufacturers do to cut cost & be competitive at price, but Apple does have a responsibility at honesty, even if other companies also fudge the facts. If the hardware is lacking then they shouldn't try to build it up to be what it is not, they have a reputation to uphold.



    Apple still rocks compared to other brands, but they have got to get out of this mindset that their products deserve to be more expensive. They are trying to balance quality with affordable & they need to just stay focused on quality. If they decide to truly market affordable it needs to be a split line just like how Dell has XPS line for higher quality experience. The differences between Pro line & standard line are not a good comparison as they share to many common parts to be considered all that different.



    But hey, that's just my opinion.
  • Reply 5 of 133
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    I think it's about time something was done about display products and their descriptions in the entire marketplace, don't you?
  • Reply 6 of 133
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Lawsuits FTW!
  • Reply 7 of 133
    endoendo Posts: 2member
    I think this suit is just another money grab by lawyers.



    I don't think that anyone bought the system based on the Ad that it can display millions of colours. That should be the basis of defending the suit.



    Again, another case of ever heard of the term Caveat Emptor?



    -Endo
  • Reply 8 of 133
    While the lawsuit is slipping itself in any way they can, EG by claiming these people bought based on the millions of colors claim, Apple is still completely wrong here for using 6-bit displays.
  • Reply 9 of 133
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This is one lawsuit I agree with. Anyone know how much more it would cost Apple to use a proper display?



    I would like to know the price difference of the display too. Glad to see this lawsuit. I bet its not just Apple being hit by this type of thing... but I've seen a severe downgrade in quality of apple products as of the recent years. Apple used to strive on quality, now-a-days it feels like too much about wanting profits, ego, and "Fad".



    I still have a Macintosh IIsi that runs PERFECTLY well. 1989 folks. Same with a 1993 Quadra840av, and 1996 Powerbook 3400c. My eMac from 2003 has died (and not of the capacitor issue that had recalls), and this is my third MBP (2006) and 2nd Battery, and even this MBP has issues that I know I'll have to fix in a few months (yay inverter board!).



    Apple used to use good products and good companies for their computers... now, not so much. Find it cheaper, don't tell anyone, claim it as a feature. Poor business in my mind. Don't take a leaf out of M$'s book. (Or Dell either, where you have no clue who makes your Ethernet controller or RAM or other vital portion of your computer!)
  • Reply 10 of 133
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msantti View Post


    Lawsuits FTW!



    Literally. LOL. \
  • Reply 11 of 133
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    The issue about the number of colours is a load of rubbish. Properly calibrated, the display will be just fine for the tasks they're talking about.



    However the issue about the screen quality on the 20" iMac isn't - it isn't as good as the previous model. I don't blame Apple for cost reducing here, it would have been nice to have a display type option when you purchase, but the fact is the 20" iMac moved into the budget price slot, and gained the budget iMac's display type, albeit 3" bigger.



    In addition, every PC with a 20" or 22" LCD will come with a TN panel. The okay Dell E226, which I have at work, for example.
  • Reply 12 of 133
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This is one lawsuit I agree with. Anyone know how much more it would cost Apple to use a proper display?



    well.. not really. 16,777,216 colours - 262,144 colours = 16,515,072 colours. which is still in the millions, so its not really false advertising.



    and.. maybe someone knows but how many colours can the human eye actually see? i remember in school the teachers saying after a certain point, the average human can't tell the difference.
  • Reply 13 of 133
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Peruchito View Post


    well.. not really. 16,777,216 colours - 262,144 colours = 16,515,072 colours. which is still in the millions, so its not really false advertising.



    and.. maybe someone knows but how many colours can the human eye actually see? i remember in school the teachers saying after a certain point, the average human can't tell the difference.



    The range depends on the person, but most people can distinguish over 10 million colors. To be more specific, most of us can see beyond what high quality 8-bit display can display, but not all at the same time.



    Just as cameras adjust exposure depending on the shot, our eyes adjust to see different range of colors. Since displays are still stuck in 8-bit per channel color depth, most of us can see beyond their capability, and certainly way beyond inferior 6-bit TN LCD panels.



    Regarding "16,777,216 colours - 262,144 colours", since 6-bit TN panels can display only 262,144 colors, what do you mean the number is still in the millions? How is 262,144 in the millions?
  • Reply 14 of 133
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    So they are sueing because they feel the 20" iMac doesn't look "stunning" enough?



    I was working on a 20" aluminum imac not an hour ago, and it looks every bit as good as my 20" aluminum cinema display. Except for the endless glare, but thats a 'feature' I guess.
  • Reply 15 of 133
    I was waiting (and waiting) for a new Cinema Display to come out. Yes, I was willing to pay more for it. But, now that Apple is a frikkin toy manufacturer with their dang iPods, I'm just giving DELL my money for a beautiful monitor. I have a MBP and can't edit pictures on the dang thing!!!
  • Reply 16 of 133
    I don't think every instance of an inferior quality product requires a lawsuit, nor does it require calling the offending company evil. No company I know of is completely perfect.



    Yes, Apple customers would be better served if they had access to specific information about Apple products rather than having to choose based on limited and potentially misleading information. But that's what independent product reviews are for, yes?



    Consumers who are armed with better information about these products can simply vote with their feet.



    I'm not apologizing for Apple's behavior, but given what little I know about this situation, I think a lawsuit in this case is an overreaction.
  • Reply 17 of 133
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MrChuck View Post


    ...given what little I know about this situation, I think a lawsuit in this case is an overreaction.



    Thanks for sharing your uninformed opinion!



    And welcome to A.I. -- there's always room for another person spouting off about something they know little about.
  • Reply 18 of 133
    londorlondor Posts: 256member
    The bottom of the line iMac has always had a TN panel so I do not know why people is surprised that the 20" panel in the current iMac is TN.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    I have a MBP and can't edit pictures on the dang thing!!!



    Good luck finding a laptop with a 8-bit panel. You are gonna really need it.
  • Reply 19 of 133
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by l008com View Post


    So they are sueing because they feel the 20" iMac doesn't look "stunning" enough?



    I was working on a 20" aluminum imac not an hour ago, and it looks every bit as good as my 20" aluminum cinema display. Except for the endless glare, but thats a 'feature' I guess.



    I find that very hard to believe. The 20" Cinema Displays use an S-IPS panel, while the iMac uses a TN. As someone who just went through monitor hell this week buying the latest and greatest 24" from Dell because it was $450 CAN less than the 23" Cinema Display, I can tell you first hand that there is no comparison. The S-IPS technology has vastly superior colour even on the oldest 20" aluminum Cinema Display. On the Dell, even the type was bugging my eyes out. Anyway, new 23 Cinema Displays are ordered. They're damn expensive, but a great value.
  • Reply 20 of 133
    takeotakeo Posts: 416member
    Wow. I'm glad I opted for the 24". I had no idea the 20" screen was inferior.
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