Judge tosses iPhone battery lawsuit

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple won't have to defend itself at trial against a proposed class-action lawsuit that alleged the company failed to inform customers of the limited lifespan of first-generation iPhone batteries, a Chicago judge said this week.



U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly issued what is called a summary judgment, according to Bloomberg, granting Apple's request for a dismissal in the case on the grounds that the plaintiff's claims lacked merit.



In July of 2007, Illinois resident Jose Trujillo charged the iPhone maker with attempting to conceal the need for customers to eventually have to replace the batteries in the handset, which are soldered and sealed in place.



More specifically, he charged the company with unfairly steering its customers towards buying frequent and expensive battery replacements. Trujillo sought class-action status for his case, where damages were estimated to easily surpass $17 million -- or the cost of approximately 200,000 4GB iPhone battery replacements -- should he have been successful.



"Apple disclosed on the outside of the iPhone package that the battery has 'limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by Apple service provider,'" Kennelly wrote in his Sept. 23 opinion. "Under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that deception occurred.''



In September of 2007, Apple used the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 to shift the case to federal court in a move aimed at preventing the potential biases in judgment that might stem from a trial outside of its home territory. The statute allows any suit whose defendants are based in a different state from the plaintiff, and where damages would total over $5 million, to be escalated to the federal level.



"Apple disputes [the] Plaintiff's allegations, believes the Complaint lacks merit, and denies that [the] Plaintiff or the putative class have been harmed in any way," the company said at the time.



Less than three weeks after Trujillo filed his complaint, a San Francisco Bay Area resident charged Apple in a virtually identical lawsuit, one which is now likely to be dismissed as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    In the immortal words of Fred Sanford.....



    You BIG DUMMY!!!
  • Reply 2 of 32
    BWAHAHAHA!!!







    Oh and to DimMok, you get bonus cool points for the Fred Sanford reference.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    I am surprised that the judge feels writing on the iPhone box is an appropriate disclaimer.



    I have never seen a situation where a potential purchaser was allowed to hold, or read the text on an iPhone box before making a purchase.



    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mfryd View Post


    I am surprised that the judge feels writing on the iPhone box is an appropriate disclaimer.



    I have never seen a situation where a potential purchaser was allowed to hold, or read the text on an iPhone box before making a purchase.



    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.



    Even so, it's far from a secret that the battery is not user-replaceable. All a prospective buyer would have to do is ask at an Apple or AT&T store if it were replaceable, or talk to anyone who owns an iPhone. If they assumed it is replaceable, that is their problem, but I have a hard time believing there would be anything but a clear "no" if they asked.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mfryd View Post


    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.



    That isn't true.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zweben View Post


    Even so, it's far from a secret that the battery is not user-replaceable. All a prospective buyer would have to do is ask at an Apple or AT&T store if it were replaceable, or talk to anyone who owns an iPhone. If they assumed it is replaceable, that is their problem, but I have a hard time believing there would be anything but a clear "no" if they asked.



    It is not the responsibility of the customer to seek out this sort of information. It is the responsibility of the seller to disclose it. You may not remember the pre-iPhone hype, but Apple did not disclose that the battery could not be swapped in and out. They did provide that information when asked, but they never, to my knowledge, informed customers who did not ask. Having a battery that can be swapped in and out is fairly standard for mobiles, so most customers would never think to question whether or not the iPhone had the same, nearly standard, capability. Apple fell down on this one. They make great hardware, but their business practices are quite slimy.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mfryd View Post


    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.



    I'm sure one could with the original iPhone, but the iPhone 3G, I'm not so sure.



    If you bought the iPhone 1G online, it was mailed to your house. You handled it before you signed up. You could return it anytime before opening it.



    Finally, a judge with brains.



    Furthermore, the statement that Apple "unfairly steered its customers towards buying frequent and expensive battery replacements" is absolutely without merit. It's like predicting the future, which after one year of iPhones sold, has not come true. My iPhone has poor battery life (at least in my opinion), but there is nothing wrong with it after using it for 12 months. I still get about 80% of the original life on a full charge, which is exactly what Apple said I should get in about a year.



    Plus, I can change it myself because I know how to solder. Battery kits are only $25.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mfryd View Post


    I am surprised that the judge feels writing on the iPhone box is an appropriate disclaimer.



    I have never seen a situation where a potential purchaser was allowed to hold, or read the text on an iPhone box before making a purchase.



    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.



    For starters, your comment is completely untrue. If you aska salesman at either an AT&T store or an Apple store, and now even at Best Buy, to look at the box, they will let you. And even if the box was not read until after purchase, simply return the product if you don't agree with it. Putting the disclaimer on the box is perfectly acceptable. It's like your cup of coffee that warns that the coffee inside the cop may be hot. It's clearly printed on the cup, but you are not given the cup until after purchase. The fact is, at least in the US, once you purchase an item, whether it be coffee or an iPhone, at the point you are now responsible for reading and understanding all disclaimers and user agreements, whether they are on the box or in the manual. Apple did nothing wrong in this case, and I'm glad this judge actually has some sense.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr Squid View Post


    It is not the responsibility of the customer to seek out this sort of information. It is the responsibility of the seller to disclose it. You may not remember the pre-iPhone hype, but Apple did not disclose that the battery could not be swapped in and out. They did provide that information when asked, but they never, to my knowledge, informed customers who did not ask. Having a battery that can be swapped in and out is fairly standard for mobiles, so most customers would never think to question whether or not the iPhone had the same, nearly standard, capability. Apple fell down on this one. They make great hardware, but their business practices are quite slimy.



    What slimy practice are you referring to? The text on the boxes, the text on their websites, or their entire iPod line that never have a user-replaceable battery?
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mfryd View Post


    I am surprised that the judge feels writing on the iPhone box is an appropriate disclaimer.



    I have never seen a situation where a potential purchaser was allowed to hold, or read the text on an iPhone box before making a purchase.



    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.



    Well I'm sure the legal counsel never thought of trying that approach and is probably not nearly as smart as you are.

    Apple must be quaking in their boots at the thought of YOU filing the next lawsuit.....



    Excuse me while I walk away laughing...... at you.....
  • Reply 11 of 32
    You get to hold the package all you want before you break the plastic seal. Until that occurs you can return it without any harm or fees.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post


    You get to hold the package all you want before you break the plastic seal. Until that occurs you can return it without any harm or fees.



    right! But, we live in a world where we want big companies to give us money! I want to start a class action suit against jerks like this dip because they are always making my stock go down!! Any lawyers with big enoug balls out there to take this one??? Post your firms name .
  • Reply 13 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Apple disclosed on the outside of the iPhone package that the battery has 'limited recharge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced by Apple service provider,'" Kennelly wrote in his Sept. 23 opinion. "Under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that deception occurred.''



    It really is that simple.



    The only people who would have problems with this would be someone who would expect Apple to provide exact numbers on how and when the battery will need replacing, using their corporate psychic abilities regarding how each and every person makes use of a phone.



    Which is just the thing Apple is known for: tedious technical information written on the outside of a pretty box because all end users, especially the non-savvy types, base purchasing decisions on such info...
  • Reply 14 of 32
    it's just GREED.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Well somewhat. Maybe this is what the judge was trying to say in a legal framework but what should have been said clearly is that "if this individual is to stupid to understand that rechargeable batteries wear out then you have no business in a court room!". Maybe as a judge you can't say that but I do believe that holding people publically accountable for their own ignorance would go a long way to solving numerous problems in this country! Frankly the idea that Apple even has to tell people that rechargeable batteries wear out is absurb.



    More so what in life doesn't wear out? Do people need to be advised that the hinges on a door will wear out if used? How about that car battery? Wear and age have always been issues with electronics I know of at least one good tech that makes a living resurrecting old stereo systems often simply by replacing worn out caps.



    In any event I'm glad Apple came out on top on this one. The unfortunate thing is that there does not appear to be a way to take punitive action against both this guy and his lawyer. Both of these guys need to be thrown in the poor house for 10 to 20 years. I'm just totally tired of these law suits that amount to somebody saying "you didn't take my stupidity into account so I'm going to sue". There are just way to many Democrates in this world!!!!!





    Dave
  • Reply 16 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    My iPhone has poor battery life (at least in my opinion), but there is nothing wrong with it after using it for 12 months. I still get about 80% of the original life on a full charge, which is exactly what Apple said I should get in about a year.



    You only get 80%??? Dang, I'm still getting a 100% full charge and I bought mine on release day. What phone did you have before that leads you to believe the iPhone has poor battery life? I use mine quite frequently for games, e-mail, surfing, music, videos and not once have I drained it completely. Only twice has it ever even gone red on me.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mfryd View Post


    I am surprised that the judge feels writing on the iPhone box is an appropriate disclaimer.



    I have never seen a situation where a potential purchaser was allowed to hold, or read the text on an iPhone box before making a purchase.



    Apple does not allow a potential consumer to have the opportunity to read the disclaimer until after purchase.



    I was able to read the box prior to the purchase, the rep handed it to me for inspection prior to starting the sale.



    Also, if I had wanted, I could have read the box prior to opening the unit, and returned it if the disclaimer changed my mind.



    Software is the same way, works with this system or that system, don't open it if you have questions.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    I am 100% certain that it is not written on the box that I can't use this phone on Mars. Or underwater, or to make toast.

    Apple AND AT&T should have told me ALL the limits on what it can and can't do.

    Can't change my tire.

    Can't feed the dog.

    Can't be used to build a bridge.

    Can't be used to tether...

    Apple should be held responsible!!!!





  • Reply 19 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post


    I am 100% certain that it is not written on the box that I can't use this phone on Mars. Or underwater, or to make toast.

    Apple AND AT&T should have told me ALL the limits on what it can and can't do.

    Can't change my tire.

    Can't feed the dog.

    Can't be used to build a bridge.

    Can't be used to tether...

    Apple should be held responsible!!!!









    That's because the programmers haven't made those apps yet
  • Reply 20 of 32
    Anyone wanna take bets one whether or not that guy has upgraded to the 3G and thus negated his own complaint about having to replace the battery in another 3 or so years?



    And seriously, who keeps the same phone for more than 2-3 years? iPhone purchasers are still mostly the people who want cutting edge and/or have $$ to burn, because lets all face it, the phone is still $199 and the plans are expensive.
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