updated 09:10 pm EDT, Thu July 1, 2010
Second firm to pursue class-action filing
Yet another law firm has announced plans to target Apple in a class-action lawsuit over reports of reception issues with the iPhone 4. Carp Law Offices claims the iPhone antenna is defective and Apple is refusing to correct the issue or accept returns without restocking fees or contract penalties.
"Purchasers and users of the Iphone have been falsely induced to buy a product that requires the user to hold the phone in a particular manner in order not to disable the external antenna," Carp says. "Apple is aware of the design defect, but has suggested the only remedy is to hold the phone differently, or to put a rubber shield around the product to prevent the user's skin from blocking cellular signals."
Carp is asking for class-action certification and an injunction to stop Apple from manufacturing any more iPhone 4s until the problem has been resolved. At least one other law firm is attempting to follow a similar route, although it is unclear if courts will allow two parallel class-action proceedings over the same issue.
Apple has defended its new handset, claiming antenna attenuation is common to any wireless device when held in the hand in a certain way. A firmware fix is believed to be on the way, although it may only provide a visual remedy for an extreme drop in bars. Many reports suggest the phone drops calls or searches for service when held with fingers covering the black bands at the bottom sides of the frame.
"The refusal of Apple to accept returns without a stocking fee is an insult to consumers who purchased the phone based on Apple's immense marketing scheme, and even if they are successful in returning their phone, they are still stuck with maintaining a cellular contract with AT&T for two years," Carp concludes.