iPhone 4 Antenna Glitch Sparks Lawsuit - InformationWeek
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7/1/2010
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iPhone 4 Antenna Glitch Sparks Lawsuit

Plaintiffs are asking court to bar Apple from selling any more iPhone 4 units until the problem is solved.

A pair of Maryland residents filed a lawsuit against Apple on Wednesday, claiming the iPhone 4's wonky antenna has caused them "emotional distress," as well as annoyance and aggravation.

"Plaintiffs were sold defective iPhone 4 units, which drop calls and data services when held in a manner consistent with normal wireless phone use," plaintiffs Kevin McCaffrey and Linda Wrinn said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court for Maryland.

The pair "have experienced numerous dropped calls and, as a result, Plaintiffs are left with a device that cannot be used for the normal purpose and in the normal manner in which such devices are intended to be used," the court papers state.

The lawsuit also names Apple partner AT&T as a defendant.

Many iPhone 4 buyers have reported that Apple's new smartphone drops its signal if the bottom left corner of the device is covered by the palm of the user's hand—a situation that's common when the phone is wielded by lefties.

Apple has conceded that the iPhone 4 antenna glitch isn't just a figment of southpaw imaginations. “Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas,” an Apple spokesman said last week.

McCaffrey and Wrinn are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, and are also asking the court to prohibit Apple from selling any more iPhone 4 units until the problem is fixed.

Apple isn't new to consumer lawsuits—especially when it comes to the iPhone. The company, along with AT&T, have been sued numerous times by attorneys representing consumers fed up with spotty reception and download speeds that are not, they claim, as fast as advertised.

iPhone 4 went on sale last week. The 16GB version is priced at $199, while its 32GB cousin goes for $299. A two-year AT&T contract is required.

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