Apple and AT&T hit with class-action lawsuit

Ronny Kerr · July 1, 2010 · Short URL:

iPhone 4 doesn't work the way a phone should, says suit; Apple and AT&T were aware of antenna issues

iPhone 4 woesBy now, almost two million people are already basking in the joys of their new incredible, ultra-chic, high-tech iPhone 4s. Or so Apple wishes the story would go.

Instead, following a rash of customer complaints about the phone's antenna issues and an unsatisfactory response from Apple and AT&T, the computer company and mobile provider are now facing the first of potentially many class action lawsuits.

It didn't take very long for iPhone 4 users to discover that, when held a certain way, the brand new Apple smartphone would lose several bars of connectivity or, in the most severe cases, drop service entirely. Apple's proposed solution sounded hardly sympathetic and perhaps even a little arrogant; the company encouraged users to just hold the phone differently. More specifically, Apple recommends iPhone 4 users "avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band."

The statement may not be enough to alleviate Apple's antenna woes.

A law firm representing two Maryland residents has filed suit against Apple for defect in design, manufacture, and assembly and breach of express warranty; both Apple and AT&T face charges of general negligence, deceptive trade practices, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud by concealment.

"Plaintiffs were sold defective iPhone 4 units, which drop calls and data service when held in a manner consistent with normal wireless phone use," says the suit. "Plaintiffs have experienced numerous dropped calls and, as a result, Plaintiffs are left with a device that cannot be used for the normal purpose and in the normal manner in which such devices are intended to be used."

Apple announced on Monday that it sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s in its first three days of launch, "the most successful product launch in Apple's history," according to CEO Steve Jobs.

Unfortunately, it appears that the tremendous launch weekend for the fourth-generation iPhone could potentially be overshadowed by a successful class-action lawsuit or (perhaps a bigger nightmare for Apple) a product recall.

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