World VoIP NewsApple, AT&T face lawsuits over iPhone antenna issueApple, AT&T face lawsuits over iPhone antenna issue

Apple, AT&T face lawsuits over iPhone antenna issue


Companies accused of knowingly selling a defective product.

Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. face a number of lawsuits over reports of reception and signal problems found in the iPhone 4's new wraparound antenna, with consumers accusing both companies of knowingly selling a defective product.
The problem is the latest black eye for Apple and AT&T, which is already battling the perception of an inferior network to its competitors. A number of lawsuits have cropped up over the antenna issue.

"Apple and AT&T knew about these problems prior to the selling the phone," said Daniel Ward, a partner at law firm Ward & Ward PLLC."The phone is inherently flawed."

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out more! An AT&T spokesman declined to comment. An Apple spokesman said the company doesn't discuss pending litigation.

Ward & Ward and Charles A. Gilman LLC filed a lawsuit Wednesday with the U.S. District Court of Maryland. Two plaintiffs, Kevin McCraffrey and Linda Winn, have been listed, although Ward said there are several more unnamed consumers represented. Ward is seeking class-action status for the case. Bloomberg reported that two other consumers had filed a separate lawsuit in San Francisco over the same issue, and are also seeking class-action status.

The metal wraparound antenna was supposed to be Apple's elegant solution for fixing the reception problems that have long plagued the iPhone. But technology and gadget websites have reported reception problems and a drop in the signal when the left palm covers the lower side of the phone.

Shortly after the phone launched a week ago, Apple issued a statement saying that gripping any phone a certain way would affect the performance of the antenna, and advised people to avoid holding it in the lower left corner.

"I'm calling from an iPhone 4 right now, and I'm holding it like its chop sticks," Ward said.

Apple also advised customers to buy a "bumper case," which the company sells for $29, to protect the antenna band. But customers have argued that the case should be given for free if there is a problem.

Apple declined to comment on whether it would consider providing free cases to affected customers.

Apple and AT&T have suffered from a number of high-profile problems in recent months, starting with a security breach in cellular-connected iPads that exposed 114,000 emails, a widespread shutdown of AT&T's system when the iPhone 4 was first made available for preorder, and supply constraints from Apple resulting in limited supplies to its retail partners.

Despite the issues, Apple said it sold 1.7 million iPhones in its first three days, which CEO Steve Jobs said made it the most successful product launch in the company's history. The prior iteration, the iPhone 3GS, sold 1 million units after three days.

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out more! AT&T shares fell 0.4% to $24.10 while Apple shares fell 1.7% to $247.18 in a broadly lower market.

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