Here come the iPhone 4 antenna-gate class-action lawsuits

By Richi Jennings. July 1, 2010.

Multiple lawsuits are swirling around Apple and AT&T, over iPhone 4 and its alleged antenna ailments. The general consensus is that Apple should offer 'bumper' cases to those affected. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if, Dick-the-butcher-like, killing all the lawyers would be a start.

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention vuvuzela-vuvuzela-vuvuzela...

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    Jesus Diaz discovered the docket:

[This] class action suit against Apple and AT&T ... focuses on the antenna design problems. ... The iPhone 4 design puts the antenna all around it, making [reception problems] difficult to avoid.


The lawsuit ... makes several claims: General Negligence ... Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly ... Breach of Express Warranty ... Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantability ... Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose ... Deceptive Trade Practices ... Intentional Misrepresentation ... Negligent Misrepresentation ... Fraud by Concealment.

Stan Schroeder suggests a speedy solution:

The problem ... can be viewed as more or less serious, depending on a number of factors. Is it serious enough to spawn a class-action lawsuit? It appears that it is.


Due to the complexity of the issue ... it’s hard to guess what the outcome of this lawsuit will be. However, it might spur Apple to start working on this problem fast, before it escalates into something far more serious.

But wait! There's more! Chris Vogel brings more bad news from Houston:

On behalf of all iPhone 4 owners, ... Houston attorney Danny Sheen ... claims that Apple knew its phone antennae design was flawed ... but proceeded to market anyhow without ... providing a remedy other than buying more Apple gear.


Apple "knowingly concealed the defect in the iPhone 4 until it became clear by overwhelming proof ... that the iPhone 4 was defective," the lawsuit states. ... "[Apple] is guilty of fraud."

Ouch; could soon be three, says Bob Bhatnagar:

Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff have started an investigation and are collecting statements from users. ... They plan to file a class action lawsuit as they did over the easily-scratched iPod Nano.


The iPad Nano Cases Settlement Fund netted relevant owners checks for $37.50 each.

Tom Warren watches the PR mavens:

Steve Jobs' first reply to the issue was somewhat arrogant and void of any responsibility. "Just avoid holding it that way."


Apple's PR outfit tried to play down the issue. ... Official response is to "use one of many available cases" to halt the issue.

TJ Luoma is surprised at Apple's stance:

[I] assume that the actual production cost of a bumper is probably closer to $5 ... [So] I'm surprised Apple isn't trying to avoid the ... lawsuit by throwing in a bumper to anyone who has the problem.


After all, Nintendo put a wrist strap on the Wii Remote but still gave away plastic grips to help people who were losing control of them. And the story died.

Meanwhile, Fake Steve Jobs is all Zen about it:

The ... strategy we use comes from Zen Buddhism. ... We call it “clouding.” ... We’ve sent out the following messages:

1. All mobile phones have this problem.

2. Our mobile phone does not have this problem.


These two statements cannot both be true. Yet we’ve said both of them. ... Now all you have to do is reach out with some kind of certainty, and ... people will latch onto it. ...  It’s the oldest trick in the book.

And Finally...

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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