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Apple Could Face Class Action for iPhone 4

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iPhone 4 by William Hook on Flickr

iPhone 4 by William Hook on Flickr

The newly released Apple iPhone 4 is already making a splash in legal news because of a “consumer investigation” by Sacramento, Calfornia firm Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP into “potential problems” with the phone’s release.

The law firm, which has also sued Facebook over allegedly deceptive ads in Farmville and Mafia Wars, wants to talk to people who have “recently purchased the new iPhone and have experienced poor reception quality, dropped calls and weak signals.”

No, I Can’t Hear You Now

The alleged problems involve reception and the phone’s antenna, which is integrated into the frame. According to, “[w]hen the lower-left portion of the iPhone is touched where the two pieces of the frame are separated, reception drops and data transmission rates are dramatically affected.”

Up to this point, Steve Jobs has downplayed any potential reception problems, literally telling users to “avoid holding it that way” or buy a case, but some users are continuing to express their disgust. Jobs has recently, though, told “users to stay tuned,” which could mean that Apple is forming a more formal response to complaints.

Free Bumpers for All!

Besides joining a class action lawsuit, another option for disgruntled iPhone 4 owners is an online petition through Gizmodo urging Apple to fix the problem by sending out free cases, also called bumpers; an informal Gizmodo survey found that 40% of iPhone 4 users had noticed a problem, but a similar UK survey found that an astounding 93% of users experienced antenna-related issues.

The self-proclaimed gadget guide maintains that “it seems to us that the question is not if people would experience the problem or not, but when would they experience it.”

Do you have an iPhone 4? Have you had reception issues? How do you feel about the potential class action against Apple?

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June 29th, 2010 at 1:18 pm