A trio of California consumers claims the iPad overheats and shuts down within minutes of coming into contact with direct sunlight, rendering it virtually useless in outdoor environments.
The tablet-style computer "overheats so quickly under common weather conditions that it does not function for prolonged use either outdoors, or in many other warm conditions as an e-reader, e-mail tool, Web browser and/or game/entertainment unit," according to the suit, which was filed in U.S Disctrict Court for Northern California, in San Francisco.
The case was filed by California residents Jacob Balthazar, Claudia Keller, and John Browning. They claim Apple was aware of the supposed defect but released the iPad for sale anyway. "Apple has taken no apparent steps to inform either potential consumers or previous purchases of false promises," the lawsuit states.
"Using the iPad is not 'just like reading a book' at all since books do not close when the reader is enjoying them in the sunlight or in other normal environmental conditions," according to the plaintiffs, who are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. They are also asking the court to give their lawsuit class-action status.
Apple has not commented on the allegations.
Word of the complaint comes just as Apple is recovering from "antennagate." The company last week began sending out free bumpers for the iPhone 4. The bumpers, or cases, are designed to mitigate the phone's so-called "grip of death" problem. Many consumers complained the iPhone 4 drops calls if it's held in such a way that the user's palm covers the lower left corner of the device.
iPad's supposed fear of sunlight does not appear to be hurting sales. The company has sold more than 3 million units since it introduced the product in April.
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