Class actions start in Apple iPhone Rubberbandgate

Disgruntled iPhone 4 customers have decided to take legal steps against Apple’s flawed toys.

David C Purdue from Tennessee and others have taken legal action on the company claiming that the iPhone 4 is faulty. They want a total of $5,000,000, which they claim will cover their costs.

According to the court papers David C. Purdue bought his iPhone 4 around July 6 at an AT&T store in Franklin, Tennessee, primarily for personal use. He claims to have paid approximately $200.00 for his iPhone 4. At the time he also signed a contract with AT&T that included calling and data plans. David said he had decided to buy the new device after watching a Steve Jobs San Francisco video presentation of the phone. Jobs is a wizard, he has that effect on people.

According to the document an estimated 1.7 million iPhone 4s were sold or delivered in the first week of its release, June 21 through 25, 2010. Consumers have been able to purchase iPhone 4s combined with a new two-year contract with AT&T for $199.00 for a version with 16 gigs of internal memory, or $299.00 for 32 GB of internal memory. Consumers with existing AT&T contracts who are not eligible for an upgrade must purchase the 16 GB or 32 GB phones for $499.00 and $599.00, respectively.

However, it goes to show that you can’t always believe what you see. According to the papers Mr Purdue saw the familiar story that Apple has been rubbishing. He began experiencing “extremely poor reception with his iPhone immediately after purchase.”

Straight from the legal complaint: “Such poor reception has lead to, among other things, frequent dropped calls and inability to stream video. In addition, because of the position of the phone’s antenna, if Plaintiff holds his iPhone in his left hand the problem is compounded. Plaintiff attempted to return his iPhone, but an AT&T representative told him that he would be subject to a 15 percent restocking fee,” the order claimed.

Mr Perdue’s problem with the iPhone 4 is of course not rare. In June 2010, Apple released the iPhone 4, touting a new design for its iPhone that features a metal band that wraps around the edge of the phone on four sides. The band serves as the iPhone 4’s antenna, which Mr. Jobs claimed would improve call quality and reception.

However, as everyone knows, it did just the opposite. 

Some iPhone 4 customers discovered soon after purchase that the phones uniformly suffer from a common defect that causes serious reception problems. Because the antenna for the phone surrounds the entire phone, it is nearly impossible to hold the phone without touching the antenna.  

However, Mr Jobs is adamant there isn’t a problem. After one angered consumer emailed him asking what he was going to do about the reception issue, Mr Jobs – or one of the Apple Fairies which emails on his behalf – replied: “Non issue. Just avoid holding it in that way. “

In a later email, Mr. Jobs further explained: “Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas.

“This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases. “

Apple is now solving every problem ever in the world ever with a rubber band-like strip that surrounds the metal edge of the phone serving as its antenna, called a “bumper.” Apple sells the bumper for $29.00. The Plaintiff purchased a bumper in the hope that the reception issues would be solved.

However David believes this isn’t on. In the papers he alleged that Apple did not act with due care when designing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling the defective iPhone 4.

He claims Apple also “failed to use due care by failing to issue a voluntary recall, by failing to waive the restocking fee for returned iPhone 4’s, and by failing to refund monies for service contracts where the bargained-for service is not provided.”