Apple, AT&T slapped with yet another iPhone 3G lawsuit

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Still one more class-action lawsuit is claiming that the iPhone not only fails to live up to 3G speeds, but that it also prematurely develops hairline cracks in its outer casing.



Texas residents Alyce R. Payne, William French, Karen Michaels, and Lorna Harris filed the lengthy 23-page complaint in an Eastern Texas court yesterday on their own behalf as well as all customers who are not satisfied with their iPhone 3G purchase, claiming that Apple has committed breaches of contract and warranty, violating Texas business and commerce codes, and other infractions.



The suit is the second to be filed this week (among many others over the past several months) claiming the iPhone 3G performs poorly when connected via 3G because it "demand(s) too much power from the 3G bandwidths."



The plaintiffs also blame AT&T's infrastructure and name the exclusive carrier of the Apple-built smartphone as a co-defendant, claiming AT&T's system can't cope with the "overwhelming 3G signal" of the sheer number of iPhones sold.



They cite an Associated Press article on tests by Swedish engineering weekly Ny Teknik that concluded some handsets aren't sensitive enough to 3G signals and boost their signals to compensate, creating the network conflict. Subsequent tests, however, showed no hardware issue and instead suggested it was a network congestion issue.



Unusually, the suit cites as proof of poor 3G performance the August 2008 ruling in the United Kingdom requiring Apple to stop advertising the iPhone's ability to access "all parts of the Internet." However, that ruling did not consider 3G speeds, dealing instead with the iPhone's lack of Java and Flash support. Nonetheless, the UK court's decision is cited as an example of the iPhone not functioning properly "on the 3G network."



A Wired blog post is also part of the plaintiffs' evidence, quoting AT&T spokesman Brad Mays as saying iPhones were "performing great" even at the height of reported slowdowns and connection drops.



However, besides these typical claims, the suit is rare in alleging faulty manufacturing of the exterior plastic case.



"The iPhones have had well-known and documented issues regarding the premature 'wear-and-tear' of the iPhones' housing," the complaint says, "including the formation of hairline cracks in the iPhones' casing."



Although these issues weren't an issue with the original iPhone, which came with an aluminum backing, the iPhone 3G comes with a black or white hard plastic back that, just after launch, had triggered multiple complaints of stress around key points of the handsets. According to the lawsuit, cracks form "around the camera, near the volume rocker," and in other areas reported by users.



The company is believed to have knowingly shipped phones with the flaw even after it became an apparent problem. The suit spends several pages reproducing anonymous comments from Apple's forums and various other websites to show when the complaints first surfaced.



"I should've stuck to my old iPhone, the one with the aluminum back that probably wont crack," an Engadget reader comments. "I've never doubted the build quality of Apple products before but now I'm beginning to question it heavily."



Moreover, hardware defects aren't the only problems mentioned in the complaint. The plaintiffs list a raft of problems caused by the iPhone 2.0 software update and the subsequent 2.1 update, which they claim did not fix the original problems of "crashes, 'bricked' handsets, slower applications, a lag in the virtual keyboard, internet connection issues, and spotty call reception."



And while Apple itself positioned iPhone 2.1 as a fix for these key problems, the individuals filing the suit point to reports where many of the problems either weren't immediately fixed or had even "gotten worse" after the update. iPhone 2.2 has since appeared.



One of AppleInsider's own August 2008 reports is also presented as evidence that Apple was aware it had released a tarnished product. A personal email to a customer from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs acknowledged a bug and that a fix was enroute.



The representatives in the class are demanding typical damages but, if victorious, would also require Apple and AT&T to give up any profits earned by way of "misleading" advertising and post a disclaimer on the iPhone's packaging as well as all advertising materials. They are suing for at least $5 million, the established threshold under legal statutes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    These things are a dime a dozen-and further proof the USA has too many whiners and too many lawyers.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Enigmafan420 View Post


    These things are a dime a dozen-and further proof the USA has too many whiners and too many lawyers.



    Agree... We need more companies like Apple that do a pretty good job of fixing problems when/if they do occur and less of these deadbeats that just want millions because Apple is profitable.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    Another lawsuit coming....



    My white iPhone is discoloring!



    The white is turning dark now only after 3 mths!





    I can't wait for Apple to respond to this.... Hopefully someone sues them before me.





    Apple had the same problems with the white Macbooks and did nothing about it. Why did they release a white iPhone after that whole ordeal?





    I never knew about the white discoloring until I googled it and found out about the Macbooks too.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Apple should just stop selling products in Texas. Let them go out of state to pick up their Apple gear, then Apple is not legally bound to lawsuits from there... which seem to be most of them.



    The news about the plastic backs cracking sucks.

    Plastic is drastic... they should go back to metal.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by italiankid View Post


    Another lawsuit coming....



    My white iPhone is discoloring!



    The white is turning dark now only after 3 mths!





    I can't wait for Apple to respond to this.... Hopefully someone sues them before me.





    Apple had the same problems with the white Macbooks and did nothing about it. Why did they release a white iPhone after that whole ordeal?





    I never knew about the white discoloring until I googled it and found out about the Macbooks too.



    Yet another whiner!



    It is a PHONE not a work of art!!!

    Do you sue because your jeans fade when you wash them.



    These people who sue over these petty and childish and fictional things needs to grow up PLUS the American Legal system must be reformed as it is a disgrace.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by italiankid View Post


    Another lawsuit coming....



    My white iPhone is discoloring!



    The white is turning dark now only after 3 mths!





    I can't wait for Apple to respond to this.... Hopefully someone sues them before me.





    Apple had the same problems with the white Macbooks and did nothing about it. Why did they release a white iPhone after that whole ordeal?





    I never knew about the white discoloring until I googled it and found out about the Macbooks too.



    it feels like every one of your posts is a complaint against Apple.



    My guitar has coloured with age, it is a tool AND a work of art, should I complain or just use the tool?
  • Reply 7 of 50
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    As much as these crazy lawsuits are, well ... crazy, the part about the cracks seems all accurate to me.
    • white iPhones do have a hairline crack problem (I have one)

    • Apple did in fact continue to ship them after they knew about it

    • they don't have any plans to replace them for anyone or do anything about it

    From what I have heard, Apple has taken the attitude that they will replace them *if* you come into the store, *if* you make an appointment with the genius, *if* the genius thinks it's "really bad," and *if* you strongly request it.



    Basically they are ignoring it unless someone freaks out, then they give them a new one. It's not good policy, it's not fair, but it works I guess. I have known about my hairline cracks since they first appeared about a week after I first opened the box, but with the incredible hassle involved in doing something about it I have yet to make an appointment for my "freak out" at the apple store.



    Why *should* the customer have to go through all that to get something like this fixed?
  • Reply 8 of 50
    [QUOTE= The suit spends several pages reproducing anonymous comments from Apple's forums and various other websites to show when the complaints first surfaced.



    One of AppleInsider's own August 2008 reports is also presented as evidence...[/QUOTE]



    LOL They are using internet comments and forums as evidence. BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHABWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH



    (catch breath for second wind)

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHHBWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHHAHH
  • Reply 9 of 50
    hexorhexor Posts: 57member
    We don't need more jobs in the US we just need to sue more!
  • Reply 10 of 50
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 529member
    You can't sue for those hairine cracks. Almost all devices in similar kidns of plstic shells develop stress cracks around the most stressed areas. They do not impair fnctionality and thye almost never become big enough to seriously impair aesthetics.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    mac31mac31 Posts: 44member
    I've had the white iPhone since day 1 and have none of these "hairline cracks." Mine still looks great.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    Same here.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Unlike the claims that software piracy doesn't make software more expensive, these lawsuits can't be be cheap. The costs are surely going to be passed on to the consumer. (FTR: I don't support the claim that piracy doesn't affect software costs, just saying).
  • Reply 14 of 50
    I have two friends with white phones and mine is white. One friend has cracks where she dropped it. The other friend and I have no cracks. I also saw photos months ago on one of these sites about cracks with accompanying photos. In one photo you could see a dent in the rim next to the cracks where it had been dropped. Every time I see someone with a white phone I ask them if I can inspect it for cracks. I have never found any. Take responsibility for dropping your phones Folks. Still looking for proof.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    I'm going to sue too. I dropped my phone on a concrete floor with some sand on it. It got a scratch!



    Anyone want to join in a class action on that?
  • Reply 16 of 50
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    I just can't understand why Apple continues to use the damn plastic. It scratches, it cracks, it discolors and it's ugly.



    The only think made of plastic that hasn't cracked is the 3rd gen iMac.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    I just can't understand why Apple continues to use the damn plastic. It scratches, it cracks, it discolors and it's ugly.



    The only think made of plastic that hasn't cracked is the 3rd gen iMac.



    Plastic is a necessary evil. In the case of the iPhone, the RF signals will travel through plastic much better than metal. Even though the v1.0 iphone had a metal back, the bottom black portion was plastic for that reason.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Plastic is a necessary evil. In the case of the iPhone, the RF signals will travel through plastic much better than metal. Even though the v1.0 iphone had a metal back, the bottom black portion was plastic for that reason.



    Apple has a radio transparent Zirconia material patent that would be better but it might still be is too expensive
  • Reply 19 of 50
    Quote:

    I can't wait for Apple to respond to this.... Hopefully someone sues them before me.



    I want a pony!
  • Reply 20 of 50
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac31 View Post


    I've had the white iPhone since day 1 and have none of these "hairline cracks." Mine still looks great.



    You probably haven't looked close enough. Try using a magnifying glass.

    These people are just opportunistic whiners and it is obvious they are after two things - money and to tarnish the reputation of the iPhone (Apple ). Everbldy complains from time to time but this long list of complaints is just juvenile. Apple should buy them all a BB Storm and tell them to go to hell. By the time I replace my iPhone I want it to be totally beat up. I want it to look like I REALLY used it. If not I'll just feel really bad about replacing it.
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