Apple sued over 'broken promises' regarding 3G speeds

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new class-action lawsuit claims Apple knowingly profited from faulty iPhone 3Gs that couldn't stay connected to the faster 3G network, costing buyers inferior service and missed opportunities to use an alternative provider.



California resident Jason Medway filed the 14-page complaint in a Northern California court this week on behalf of himself and thousands of other California customers who purchased the iPhone 3G.



The suit revives claims that the smartphone, launched last June, has a defect that keeps it from maintaining a signal on AT&T's 3G network. *Medway alleges Apple is aware of the problem yet continues to advertise the device's high speed while ignoring complaints and requests to remedy the situation.



"Despite knowledge that the iPhone 3G cannot maintain consistent 3G service, defendant continues to solicit new orders in a multimillion-dollar television and print advertising campaign for the iPhone 3G," the complaint says. *"Apple simply replicated the problems by providing consumers with replacement phones and thus subject to the same issues which prompted the replacements."



The suit goes on to argue that, as a result of Apple's misrepresentations, "thousands of consumers who purchased Apple's iPhone 3G and accompanying 3G service from AT&T have experienced broken promises regarding the phone's transmission speeds."



Attorneys for Medway are seeking damages for thousands of class members in excess of $5 million. *The complaint claims the plaintiffs should receive full restitution, including the "disgorgement" of all profits Apple received from sales of the device plus interest at the "highest rate allowable by law", along with attorneys' fees.



The complaint is the latest in a long saga dating back to last August that's pitted the iPhone maker against customers who believe the iPhone's 3G performance is subpar. *In early December Apple argued in response to one such suit that "no reasonable person" would take the statements in iPhone 3G ads as fact. *The response was preceded by a succession of lawsuits that claimed Apple and AT&T over-saturated the network, exploited its customers, fell short of promised performance, deceived customers of the real download speed, and even failed to warn about the "defective" third-party apps found on the App Store.



Ironically, an independent study commissioned by Wired last year concluded that iPhone data speed problems "have more to do with carriers' networks than with Apple's handsets."



AT&T, however, is not named as a defendant in Medway's suit.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    wah wah wah



    how sad....anything to make a quick buck. we all know its not apples fault....



    get over it
  • Reply 2 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Ironically, an independent study commissioned by Wired last year concluded that iPhone data speed problems "have more to do with carriers' networks than with Apple's handsets."



    AT&T, however, is not named as a defendant in Medway's suit.



    I agree that the problem is with AT&T and not Apple. AT&T just wasn't ready for it.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    And I'm suing Lotus. There is no way my Elise can do the advertised speed on my local roads. There should be a law that charges people the cost of wasting courts and taxpayers money dealing with claims like this.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    I generally don't like class-action suits, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with this one. I got an iPhone 3G a couple of weeks ago and I am disappointed by its 3G-ness.



    I thought web sites would load significantly faster, but they really don't. Also, even though I live and work in a major metropolitan area (and my work is next to a major freeway, which is where a lot of cell towers are concentrated), I am disappointed at how often that I cannot connect to the 3G network. What are they calling that these days? Connectile dysfunction?
  • Reply 5 of 47
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    I have an iphone 3g on fido and have never had any of these complaints and you never hear any complaints from anywhere else in the world but good ol' America with AT&T, so it sure ain't the iphone's fault.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Adjei View Post


    I have an iphone 3g on fido and have never had any of these complaints and you never hear any complaints from anywhere else in the world but good ol' America with AT&T, so it sure ain't the iphone's fault.



    It's Apple's fault for choosing AT&T.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    I generally don't like class-action suits, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with this one. I got an iPhone 3G a couple of weeks ago and I am disappointed by its 3G-ness.



    I thought web sites would load significantly faster, but they really don't. Also, even though I live and work in a major metropolitan area (and my work is next to a major freeway, which is where a lot of cell towers are concentrated), I am disappointed at how often that I cannot connect to the 3G network. What are they calling that these days? Connectile dysfunction?



    So return the phone. You have 30 days to do so without being bound by the contract.



    I've had the opposite experience, so it's not inherent to the phone anyway. Hopefully this case gets thrown out of court fast.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Is it me or are there more idiots in the world since the iPhone was launched?
  • Reply 9 of 47
    macFanDave,



    Tell us, what other 3G phones have you tried in Houston in exactly the same areas, with exactly the same carrier (AT&T), at exactly the same time of day?



    And how have you documented these tests? Please pass along all results as soon as possible so we can confirm your findings/suspicions, OK?



    (Oh, and please remember: Anecdotal evidence isn't worth the wind it takes to express it, so do include all hard test results in your next posting.)



    FYI: Here in Colorado I was able to connect my previous LG phone to the Verizon network in only three specific places in my home. If I weren't standing THERE, no phone calls possible. However, with my iPhone and AT&T, anywhere in the house is fine . . . and ALL at 3G speeds, all the time. So whose anecdote should we value more here, yours or mine?
  • Reply 10 of 47
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    I am going to sue the Ohio Lottery Commission - their advertisements say "Odds are, you'll have fun" well, every time I buy a lottery ticket, I lose, and that is no fun at all.



    And there is a car dealer who advertises that they are "closer than you think" - first of all, how can they possibly know how close I think it is and what if I think they are too close?



    In Apple's ads they do clearly state "twice as fast" which I think any reasonable person would be expected to take literally - however, they don't actually say twice as fast as what exactly - sure it is implied that it is twice as fast as the original iPhone - but does the ad actually say that?



    And how exactly is paying an exorbitant amount of money to people who believe they were misled going to contribute to actually dix whatever the problem is?



    If you really look at most commercial advertising it is all designed to be misleading and unprovable and open to interpretation.



    While I am still using the original iPhone - I do have an AT&T 3G card in my notebook. I cannot get a 3G signal everywhere - which I expected since they do not claim to have 100% 3G coverage of everywhere I can take the card - I have had very few places where I could get no signal at all. In addition, while most hotels I stayed in over the past couple years have wireless internet service - in many cases the speed i get form the 3G notebook card is faster than that offered by the hotel.



    Now - if there is some design flaw or defective part in the device that is responsible for the problem then yes Apple should replace or repair the device and AT&T should give some kind of credit or rebate for the time during which the problem prevented full use of the service.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    roos24roos24 Posts: 170member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...broken promises...



    Get a box of Kleenex. Puleese.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,175member
    Don't Apple's commercials and other advertising materials say on the bottom of the ad speed varies depending on areas and usage? This lawsuit is about as dumb as the one about Apple advertising an 8GB iPod but the formatted capacity was like 7.4GB so they were sued because it wasn't actually an 8GB iPod. I wonder what ever came about that lawsuit?
  • Reply 13 of 47
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    I generally don't like class-action suits, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with this one. I got an iPhone 3G a couple of weeks ago and I am disappointed by its 3G-ness.



    I thought web sites would load significantly faster, but they really don't. Also, even though I live and work in a major metropolitan area (and my work is next to a major freeway, which is where a lot of cell towers are concentrated), I am disappointed at how often that I cannot connect to the 3G network. What are they calling that these days? Connectile dysfunction?



    So where are the lawsuits against Intel because USB 2.0 doesn't actually transfer data at 480 Mbps and yet every computer sold advertises that data rate, or against Apple because FW800 isn't really twice as fast as FW400. How about a lawsuit against ATT because my 3 Mbps DSL line never gets above around 2 Mbps. Why didn't they disclose to me that I live too far from their hub to ever get 3 when they sold it to me? My car is suppossed to get 20 mpg in the city, but it gets nowhere near that.



    The point being that Apple is hardly the only or first company that uses theoretical or ideal conditions when marketing the product's performance. If there is a complaint anywhere, it's against ATT for mis-representing their 3G coverage areas. But even that (cell phone coverage maps) have historically been optimistic, at best. You can no more blame Apple for that then you can Motorola, Nokia, Sony, LG, etc.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Is it me or are there more idiots in the world since the iPhone was launched?



    That's what happens when you make technology accessible to the masses.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post


    macFanDave,



    Tell us, what other 3G phones have you tried in Houston in exactly the same areas, with exactly the same carrier (AT&T), at exactly the same time of day?



    And how have you documented these tests? Please pass along all results as soon as possible so we can confirm your findings/suspicions, OK?



    (Oh, and please remember: Anecdotal evidence isn't worth the wind it takes to express it, so do include all hard test results in your next posting.)



    FYI: Here in Colorado I was able to connect my previous LG phone to the Verizon network in only three specific places in my home. If I weren't standing THERE, no phone calls possible. However, with my iPhone and AT&T, anywhere in the house is fine . . . and ALL at 3G speeds, all the time. So whose anecdote should we value more here, yours or mine?



    Anecdotal evidence does indeed have some weight. In the absence of valid statistics, it's the best you can do. I don't have the time or resources to conduct signal strength surveys, but then again, your "study" of two phones in one house is also a joke.



    Your anecdote has more value in Colorado and mine has more value in Houston. Had you been sitting at the desk near mine, your two-sample "study" would be a bit more credible than mine.



    While 3G has been disappointing so far, I really like the GPS.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    So where are the lawsuits against Intel because USB 2.0 doesn't actually transfer data at 480 Mbps and yet every computer sold advertises that data rate, or against Apple because FW800 isn't really twice as fast as FW400. How about a lawsuit against ATT because my 3 Mbps DSL line never gets above around 2 Mbps. Why didn't they disclose to me that I live too far from their hub to ever get 3 when they sold it to me? My car is suppossed to get 20 mpg in the city, but it gets nowhere near that.



    The point being that Apple is hardly the only or first company that uses theoretical or ideal conditions when marketing the product's performance. If there is a complaint anywhere, it's against ATT for mis-representing their 3G coverage areas. But even that (cell phone coverage maps) have historically been optimistic, at best. You can no more blame Apple for that then you can Motorola, Nokia, Sony, LG, etc.







    That's what happens when you make technology accessible to the masses.



    [ed: snip for profanity & personal attack]. The iPhone 3G was specifically sold as being "twice as fast" as the previous iPhone and my experience with sites that I go to multiple times a day shows that it is simply not true. Even "twice as fast" is a modest claim considering the theoretical speeds of 3G vs EDGE. Where the bottleneck is, I don't know, but all I'm saying is that my new iPhone is not head and shoulders better than the old one.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    iriairia Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post


    macFanDave,



    Tell us, what other 3G phones have you tried in Houston in exactly the same areas, with exactly the same carrier (AT&T), at exactly the same time of day?



    And how have you documented these tests? Please pass along all results as soon as possible so we can confirm your findings/suspicions, OK?



    (Oh, and please remember: Anecdotal evidence isn't worth the wind it takes to express it, so do include all hard test results in your next posting.)



    FYI: Here in Colorado I was able to connect my previous LG phone to the Verizon network in only three specific places in my home. If I weren't standing THERE, no phone calls possible. However, with my iPhone and AT&T, anywhere in the house is fine . . . and ALL at 3G speeds, all the time. So whose anecdote should we value more here, yours or mine?



    Trust my anecdotal evidence. I work in the cell phone (software) industry and can spread half-a-dozen AT&T 3G phones of differing models in front of me within inches of each other, and have much better results with say, a MOT Q9h than an iPhone.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    I generally don't like class-action suits, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with this one. I got an iPhone 3G a couple of weeks ago and I am disappointed by its 3G-ness.




    As others have said, you are welcome to return the phone. within 30 days and ATT won't charge you the ETF (just get your number on your 'new' phone first or you might lose it when the account is cancelled) and I bet you can avoid the open box fee if they try to charge it by pointing out that the ATT/Apple employee opened the box before you even left. say it firmly but nicely (ie don't raise your voice or cuss) and they will probably be happy to waive it. that is if they don't as SOP



    and as others pointed out, you don't mention what other 3g phones or carriers you've have great success with. Or whether you have taken into account that while a major metro area would imply more towers, it also means potentially more people using 3g. or whether you have any proof that it is the iphone and not ATT that is the issue.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    It's Apple's fault for choosing AT&T.



    Apple choose ATT on good faith because they were likely told that ATT could handle the big plans. Also ATT was the only GSM supporting company willing to keep their noses out of object development. Everyone else wanted a vote or full control of the device. this is published information that has been around for a while.



    And like it or not, we are stuck with ATT until the contract runs out.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    If you really look at most commercial advertising it is all designed to be misleading and unprovable and open to interpretation.



    every true. ads skim the line of lying. the only exception in any sense are RX drug ads. in that they have to blurt out every possible side effect etc which if you took the lists at face value would make you never want to take any of the drugs.



    Quote:

    Now - if there is some design flaw or defective part in the device that is responsible for the problem then yes Apple should replace or repair the device and AT&T should give some kind of credit or rebate for the time during which the problem prevented full use of the service.



    And Apple is doing that. they are replacing phones, they are updating the software. ATT however is not doing anything it seems. no credits, no rebates. nothing. and yet folks are putting the blame all on Apple saying it is a bad device and not the network that is the issue. They aren't even sharing the blame between the two.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Don't Apple's commercials and other advertising materials say on the bottom of the ad speed varies depending on areas and usage?



    I believe even the printed material that comes inside the box brings up this issue. Not that anyone reads it.



    Frankly between the independent study and the fact that there is no proof that Apple has been making defective phones and knowingly selling them from day one, etc, this suit will go little to no where. Especially when they have been making efforts to deal with the parts of the issue they can -- the phones.



    But in the end, these 3g lawsuits are pointed at the wrong people and hopefully Apple can use that to get the suit tossed out. and then they can get back to work on my new mac mini, my new imac etc.
  • Reply 18 of 47
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,272member
    Houston has the worst 3G service I've yet to experience. I was there at Christmas for a few days and it was just horrible.



    I live in the Dallas area and 3G here rocks. I get faster speeds on 3G here than my brother gets on AT&T's dsl in Houston.



    Currently getting about 2.6 MB.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Is it me or are there more idiots in the world since the iPhone was launched?



    There are not more. The iPhone just makes them appear at a snappier rate.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    I generally don't like class-action suits, but I have to admit that I kind of agree with this one. I got an iPhone 3G a couple of weeks ago and I am disappointed by its 3G-ness.



    I thought web sites would load significantly faster, but they really don't. Also, even though I live and work in a major metropolitan area (and my work is next to a major freeway, which is where a lot of cell towers are concentrated), I am disappointed at how often that I cannot connect to the 3G network. What are they calling that these days? Connectile dysfunction?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    I really don't give a shit about your stupid analogies. The iPhone 3G was specifically sold as being "twice as fast" as the previous iPhone and my experience with sites that I go to multiple times a day shows that it is simply not true. Even "twice as fast" is a modest claim considering the theoretical speeds of 3G vs EDGE. Where the bottleneck is, I don't know, but all I'm saying is that my new iPhone is not head and shoulders better than the old one.



    It sounds like you just live and work in an area with sub-par coverage. AT&T is the one making your life miserable...not Apple and their iPhone. Like others have said, if coverage is actually that bad, I would just take it back within the 30 days for a refund. Simple as that.
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