updated 03:05 pm EDT, Mon March 31, 2008
iMac display suit
Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP, a law firm out of Los Angeles, California, has filed suit against Apple on behalf of a class of users claiming that the computer maker "deceptively marketed" the 20-inch iMac by purporting improved display performance, though the device's monitor is allegedly of "inferior" quality. The suit claims that the monitors are incapable of displaying "millions of colors," despite Apple's marketing claims. "Apple is duping its customers into thinking they're buying 'new and improved' when in fact they're getting stuck with 'new and inferior,'""said Brian Kabateck, Managing Partner of Kabateck Brown Kellner. "Beneath Apple's 'good guy' image is a corporation that takes advantage of its customers. Our goal is to help those customers who were deceived and make sure Apple tells the truth in the future."
The "millions of colors" claim stems from the assertion that while 24-inch iMacs display 16,777,216 colors on 8-bit, in-plane switching (IPS) screens, as did the previous generation of 20-inch iMacs, the new 20-inch iMac monitors display 98 percent fewer colors (262,144).
The suit also alleges that the screens used in 24-inch and 20-inch iMacs respectively are of radically different technology. "The 20-inch iMacs feature 6-bit twisted nematic film (TN) LCD screens, the least expensive of its type.
The 20-inch iMac's TN screens have a narrower viewing angle, less color depth, less color accuracy and are more susceptible to washout across the screen," a statement issued by Kabateck Brown Kellner suggests.
"Apple is squeezing more profits for itself by using cheap screens and its customers are unwittingly paying the price," Kabateck said.
Apple recently agreed to an out-of-court settlement in a long-running lawsuit over the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Two California photographers, Fred Greaves and Dave Gatley, filed the class action suit in May of last year, over Apple's claim that the Pro could display "millions of colors." According to the filing, the reality is that Apple fakes the notebooks' color range through software dithering, and yet offers the extended color option in a Mac OS X drop-down menu, without any mention of software emulation.