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Apple Settles Antennagate Class-Action Lawsuit

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the can-you-hear-me-now dept.

Bug 130

An anonymous reader writes "A preliminary settlement has been reached in the class-action lawsuit brought against Apple in June 2010 over the 'Antennagate' fiasco. Ira Rothken, co-lead counsel for the case, says there are 21 million people entitled to either $15 or a free bumper. 'The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one. All share the claim that Apple was "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4 — particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software." The settlement has its own Web site, www.iPhone4Settlement.com, which will be up in the coming weeks (the site doesn't go anywhere right now). There, customers will be able to get information about the settlement and how to make a claim. As part of the arrangement, e-mails will also be sent alerting original buyers to the settlement before April 30, 2012. The claims period is then open for 120 days.'"

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130 comments

Happy Saturday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085865)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Already got my free case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085867)

Thought this was settled when Apple made it right last year.

Time to move along (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085873)

Maybe now they can get to suing the TV manufacturers for turning brains into mush.

Just another class action suit (3, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085901)

"misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4 — particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software."

So naturally, the people who actually had the problem are entitled to fifteen (count 'em!) dollars.

Are there any figures for the people who got a full refund for a phone that was - according to some, anyway - not fit for purpose?

Re:Just another class action suit (0, Troll)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086011)

Ask Apple - anyone who wanted could return it for a full refund, including being released from the cellular contract at no cost, if they felt it was not fit for purpose.

Of course, in reality, the antenna was only marginal in signal areas beyond that of the 3GS it replaced, so the majority of people never saw the issue. Antennas are susceptible to detuning; that's physics for you. The 4's antenna was just more susceptible than others (the internal ones) because it had a much better range to begin with, but in areas of very weak signal (where an internal antenna would get zero signal) it was possible to cause the external antenna to drop.

No doubt the design had a flaw, but the hype surrounding it was just ridiculous.

Re:Just another class action suit (5, Informative)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086641)

I can't, for the life of me, see how this could have been marked as informative. Tests ( http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review/2 [anandtech.com] ) show that the iPhone 4's antennae behaves very much like the Nexus One antennae, but when gripped drops the signal much more than the iPhone 3GS and the Nexus One.

There is a serious flaw that manifests in low reception areas and with left handed people. If it wasn't a big problem, it would not have been noticed.

Apple touted improved reception and revolutionary design in it's adds, but that was not true, and it took them long enough to "admit" it (actually, they never did, but still accepted returns and gave free bumpers to those affected with by the problem they claim did not exist).

In one thing you're right though, the hype was ridiculous. But what caused that hype was people proving, either by simple tests or real research, Few days after steve job's mea culpa (or actually "no culpa"), the media frenzy stopped. It's a textbook example on how not to handle a problem.

Apple shills Re:Just another class action suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087699)

The posts by jo_ham are marked as informative for the same reason that posts by bonch are marked as informative: PR firms control a set of shill accounts that are used to harvest modpoints and then dump them modding up posts made by their shill accounts and modbombing any antagonist opinion.

That's why we see tons of story submissions favourable to apple submitted through accounts such as SharkLaser and then accounts such as bonch and jo_ham that are dedicated to praise Apple and criticize any opinion that goes agains their employer.

Re:Apple shills Re:Just another class action suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087869)

Wait, I thought we called bonch a MS shill? Now that account is an Apple shill? Or, is it possible that the account wielder just has an unpopular opinion? Hell, I don't know - I thought he might have been a shill too. But at this point we seem to be labeling so many people as shills that I have a feeling we are just wrong.

Re:Just another class action suit (5, Informative)

dachshund (300733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086697)

Of course, in reality, the antenna was only marginal in signal areas beyond that of the 3GS it replaced, so the majority of people never saw the issue. Antennas are susceptible to detuning; that's physics for you

Or for god's sake, this post completely misrepresents the issue. I notice you've posted essentially the same comments twice in this thread -- shill much?

For the record, the problem was not limited to marginal signal areas, unless you define 'marginal' as being any area not directly beneath a cell tower. And this isn't just a question of the antenna 'detuning' more (but similarly to) other phones. The unique design characteristic of the iPhone 4 was the decision to place two antennae on the exterior of the phone with no insulation over them. This made it possible to bridge the antennae and essentially swamp them both with noise. This wasn't something that happened 'some of the time'. It was pretty easy to repeat, and it happened in real usage.

Moreover Apple knew it was a serious problem. If you ignore the PR and look at Apple's technical actions, you see a company moving heaven and earth to rectify a catastrophic engineering screwup and repair the antenna as quickly as possible. The only evidence for the idea that 'this wasn't a big deal' came from Apple's public statements.

I don't necessarily think that this is a huge legal issue -- Apple eventually gave out cases so that people with defective phones could use them. And they offered full refunds. But from a customer-relations point of view it was sickening. They basically lied to their early adopters -- people who had enthusiastically lined up to purchase a defective phone -- and agreed to do nothing but send them a bandaid -- while quietly acknowledging the problem and re-engineering the phone so it wouldn't be broken for their next round of customers.

Re:Just another class action suit (2)

dachshund (300733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086787)

I don't necessarily think that this is a huge legal issue

Actually, screw that (yes, I'm replying to my own post). It is a legal issue.

If Apple had been forthright about the technical issue -- and had been honest about the fact that they were designing a 'fixed' version of the phone -- then I think they would have been blameless. People would have been properly informed and thus could have made the correct decision in deciding whether or not to return the device.

But instead Apple lied. They lied because they knew if they downplayed the issue, a lot of people would take them at their word and hold onto phones that they knew were defective. Moreover, they didn't acknowledge that they were fixing the issue -- since they didn't really acknowledge the issue in the first place (remember when it was going to fixed via a software update?) So people didn't know that they could return the phone and buy a better one a few weeks/months later.

I think that really forms the core of their legal culpability. I wish that their damages exceeded the $$ they probably made by sticking people with those defective phones, but I really doubt that it does. No doubt the shareholders are toasting the ghost of Steve Jobs right now.

Re:Just another class action suit (2, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087169)

But instead Apple lied.

Yes. But you're making it as if Apple were Monsanto lying about 3 headed babies because their mothers ate corn in the 3rd trimester. Lets scale this down to what it is; a defective consumer product. That's it. Its not a "gate." Not even a Keating 3. Its a 3 oz candy bar with wrapping saying its 5, at best. We both have bigger issues in our lives, at least I do.

Re:Just another class action suit (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087695)

>Yes. But you're making it as if Apple were Monsanto lying about 3 headed babies because their mothers ate corn in the 3rd trimester.

Yes. But a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie, and this was no small fib.

If you're going to treat corporations as persons, then they need ot conform to the moral standards of individuals.

In this case, it looks like Apple committed a material deception, actively concealing a product flaw. That's not birth defects, no, but that's treble damages area, if not criminal conduct.

Instead of $25 or so per customer, Apple should be paying out $500 or so, twenty times what it's being asked.

Of course, the foregoing would require the US to have a Department of Justice.

Re:Just another class action suit (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087849)

If you're going to treat corporations as persons...

I'm doing no such thing. What my elected officials do despite my best impotent threats I may throw their way is beyond my grasp. I think its easy to show that Washington and in my case Sacramento is run amok. I am however going to direct my meagre and limited efforts to those causes which I deem to be worthy of those efforts. This ain't one of 'em, sorry.

Re:Just another class action suit (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39089495)

Hey, I didn't mean "you" as in "you personally." I meant "you" and in "your average govcritter making these decisions."

Re:Just another class action suit (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088031)

The difference being that this particular candy bar costs hundreds rather than pennies. Anyway, selling a 3 oz candy bar as 5 oz is a crime and hard to pass off as a mistake, where as Apple clearly just cocked up this one up. It's kinda funny really, they showed off all the amazing pictures of their signal test chamber with an iPhone sat on a plastic holder in the middle, apparently oblivious of the need to test it in someone's hand.

Re:Just another class action suit (2)

dachshund (300733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088567)

Yes. But you're making it as if Apple were Monsanto lying about 3 headed babies because their mothers ate corn in the 3rd trimester.

What I'm saying is that Apple collected a profit by lying to its customers, they should be liable for some or all of that profit.

Has our culture degraded to the point where this thought is shocking? If so, please kill me.

Re:Just another class action suit (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087131)

Yep, Jobs effectively fired Mark Papermaster because of the antenna problems. Interesting because I remember when he was hired, it made a news splash in 2007 and Apple hailed him as the second coming, even though Bob Mansfield (some Mac hardware exec) didn't think he was a good fit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Papermaster

Re:Just another class action suit (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39089397)

The 4's antenna was just more susceptible than others (the internal ones) because it had a much better range to begin with

Right. The Patriots lost the Superbowl because they were so totally awesome in the regular season.

(You might need at find a man to explain that to you).

Re:Just another class action suit (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086169)

I own an iphone4 and live in a rural area. The iphone4 was unusable at my house until I put a bumper case on it. However when I put a bumper case on it, the phone started working perfectly, the reception was as good as any other phone I had tried (I used to be a blackberry user). That is why this didn't blow up bigger in my opinion.

Also, I highly recommend apple's bumper case, they fit so tightly onto the phone it seems like you aren't using much of a case at all. A friend of mine gave me an apple bumper case or I would have never tried one. They add a certain amount of needed grippyness but not too much (the non-apple one I'm using right now pulls my entire pocket out with it). The apple case I received from a friend was made for an AT&T phone so the ringer switch was hard to use, so I'll use this settlement to get a case that fits my phone.

The disappointing part is that apple was allowed to make extra money on bumper cases all this time. I never bought one from them and it did not feel right to have to buy one from them to get my phone work. At the same time, since I had found a workaround, I wanted to keep my new smartphone because I was really enjoying how well it worked doing everything else.

More useless anecdotal evidence :)

Also, recently I have started hanging out in apple stores telling people who show up to buy a power adapter that they need to go home and check out adaptersettlement.com and bring their laptop/strain damaged laptop instead of spending $80. Made two people REALLY happy last week, but it was apple's fault, they made me come in a second time for my adapter settlement, so I was working overtime on my information campaign.

Lawyers rake it in (5, Interesting)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085915)

Once again, some law firm gets millions for shuffling some paperwork around, and the consumers who actually experienced the problem get a few bucks each. Just doesn't seem right.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

CoolVC (131998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085935)

In this case they are giving a bumper case that resolves the issue. Seems fair.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (4, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086043)

Yeah, but Apple already gave everyone a free bumper who wanted one. The problem is that it solves the antenna issue, but causes the phone to be the wrong size for every docking connector made for the phone, including all "compatible" and official Apple accessories when installed. I just hold mine differently (really, it almost feels like someone else is holding it). Seems like a lawsuit that should never have been dismissed early based on Apple's official response.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (0, Troll)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086431)

The problem is that it solves the antenna issue, but causes the phone to be the wrong size

Indeed, as a compensation they might as well give everybody a box of matches so they can make smoke-signals for communication. Apple is a lousy company with lousy standards. But hey, what do you expect from a law-firm?

Re:Lawyers rake it in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086541)

The problem is that it solves the antenna issue, but causes the phone to be the wrong size

Indeed, as a compensation they might as well give everybody a box of matches so they can make smoke-signals for communication. Apple is a lousy company with lousy standards.

LOL lousy standards? who is more foolish: The fool or the fools that follow him?

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087275)

And all the customers who bought one after the bumper case program ran out? Interesting that Apple pulled out all the stops to replace a plastic screen with glass on the original phone, but couldn't work out how to stop bridging that lile gap when the phone is held normally?

Re:Lawyers rake it in (2, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087489)

The problem is that it solves the antenna issue, but causes the phone to be the wrong size for every docking connector made for the phone, including all "compatible" and official Apple accessories when installed.

This is NOT true. I've had an Apple supplied bumper from day one and have NEVER taken it off.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1, Flamebait)

oGMo (379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085983)

They're fixing the problem. You bought a phone with the expectation it would work under normal circumstances (i.e. being held), it didn't, and this forces them to rectify the issue.

You aren't entitled to out-of-proportion rewards, like millions of dollars, Apple being put out of business, a new phone, or even a refund. You bought a phone with a poor antenna design, and they provided a satisfactory workaround. Get over it.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086039)

It wasn't even that bad of a design to begin with. Under all the conditions where an internal antenna would work acceptably (ie, when the phone was being held in any possible position) the 4's antenna also worked fine. It was only in marginal conditions where internal antennas, like the one in the 3GS, would not receive a signal in the first place that the detuning showed up.

The design should have figured both left and right handed use from the start, certainly, but it was nowhere near as bad as many were making it out to be.

That said, the bumper cures the issue in those edge cases.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086809)

Totally not the case.

I experienced the issue all over the place, where previous model had worked just fine with internal antenna. Bumped sorted it.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086907)

The antenna is far worse than other high end phones when the problem kicks in. It is undeniably an issue.

The bumper prevents the phone fitting most docks and isn't what I'd call attractive.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086051)

Nope, only the lawyers are entitled to millions. You get $15 bucks or a cheap plastic case. There's got to be a better way to keep companies honest than giving some schmuck lawyer millions of dollars and everyone else pittance. Christ, the last class action I qualified for I got a 10% off coupon for services from the company that screwed me. My settlement was participation in their marketing campaign for pete's sake.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086075)

Get over it.

I think the OP is pointing out the ritual of class action lawsuits in America. A CAL is filed and won or settled for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. Lawyers take 30-50% and the rest is divided over the huge pool in the class, hence often resulting in a few bucks each.

It's a perverted system - as a big company, you are spared having to pay anything of substance to each litigant, yet the overall effect is still big. Lawyers love it because they get rich.

I usually get 2-3 letters or postcards a year informing me that I'm potentially part of a CAL because a had a Mastercard four years ago, or I exchanged foreign currency with company X in 2005, or because I changed flight reservations in 2006, or some other event that I've completely forgotten. Just check boxes A and B and sign on the line, and you get a check for $5-10 in three months, and you can check the status at SomeBigCompanySettlement.com. It's a weird part of modern life.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086221)

This was indeed my original point. I tend to ignore all those class action letters. I had one where a company actually screwed me out of 3500 USD. I got a $35.00 check. The lawyers got a couple hundred grand, and they were in no way wronged. (It was like getting blood from a turnip or I would have gone after them for the max in small claims. I figured I would get nothing. So perhaps 1% is not so bad...)

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087447)

$3500 is real money.

If your story is true as stated, you likely had the choice to litigate in local small claims. As stated, the chances that the company would have settled when served with a lawsuit are at least 90%.

You chose not to, and to participate in the class action instead, for whatever reason.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085995)

I was going to say, the summary forgot the most important thing -- how many millions did the lawyers make? My guess would be 1/3, or around $100 million.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086107)

You are more than able to bring your own case, accept the risks of doing so, and reap whatever you get Apple to settle for.

Those legal costs might very well take a big bite out of whatever you get. And if you lose, you will still have legal costs to cover - thems be the risks.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (3, Insightful)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087387)

Actually, no, no, no no no.

With the existing precident, you are almost guaranteed to win in any small claims venue. Your costs range from free to about $75. You can represent yourself.

On the other hand, Apple, as a corporation, is going to have to send a lawyer. At $350/hr or so, they're going to spend at least $5000 on the case -- time, travel, expenses (hotel etc).

If you sue them for $500 or less, it simply makes sense to settle. And in fact, I've only seen Apple not settle once-- when a law student at Berkeley did them the convenience of (intentionally) suing them in Cupertino over a defective laptop.

Guess what? He still won. Small claims litigation is not massive class action. It has restricted, common sense rules and proceeds by a common sense, preponderance of the evidence. Guys in fancy suits tend not to impress judges who have deep caseloads to clear.

In this case, the question is the damages. Hard to calculate, but I could see service costs over a year, plus some punitive or retributive damages in some jurisdictions. The higher you make it, the more incentive you give Apple to fight, so realistically, I'd peg a reasonable suit at $500-750.

If it's worth your time to do the research and/or go through the hoops of the small claims procedure in your jurisdiction (5-10 hours for a novice), then I'd say go for it. If people did it all the time, corporations would be much more careful and responsive.

Otherwise, my point is that the parent post is mostly FUD, mixed with ignorance.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086203)

Once again, some law firm gets millions for shuffling some paperwork around, and the consumers who actually experienced the problem get a few bucks each. Just doesn't seem right.

And that law firm spent a million to do that shuffling. Would you pay a lawyer a million dollars to sue Apple over $15? Of course not. No one would. So, absent a class action suit, everyone would just suck up their $15 loss and Apple - or any other large company - would get away with it.

Class action suits are more about punishing the company for wrongdoing than compensating consumers... which is why it's not surprising that there are a lot of shills out there arguing that they're wrong and that lawyers are just filing these out of greed.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086283)

Point taken...

( you.isLawer() == true ) || ( you.GetParent().isLawer() == true )

That's ok, we do sometimes need lawyers, like when the Feds come knocking... ;)

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086301)

Sometimes we need good spelling in our code too... But it was the original library author who spelled those methods lawer instead of lawyer...

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087499)

>And that law firm spent a million to do that shuffling. Would you pay a lawyer a million dollars to sue Apple over $15? Of course not.

No, but you wouldn't be paying $1 million. $15 or $150 or $1500 (all reasonable amounts to sue for) are small claims-- $25,000 is the small claims limit in my jurisdiction, and $1500 is the lowest state-set jurisdictional limit in the US.

In small claims, you can represent yourself. The filing fee can range from free to about $75. As a corporation, Apple needs to send a lawyer across the company to respond to my suit, pay that lawyer $350/hr, pay his travel and lodging expenses, etc etc.

The above is an imbalance that highly favors the plaintiff. In practice, I've never heard of Apple sending a lawyer (outside cases filed in Cupertino) for anything under $5000; they settle, because the costs of not settling are enormously disproportionate. As do almost all corporations.

One-on-one lawsuits and class actions are entirely different things.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088921)

>And that law firm spent a million to do that shuffling. Would you pay a lawyer a million dollars to sue Apple over $15? Of course not.

No, but you wouldn't be paying $1 million. $15 or $150 or $1500 (all reasonable amounts to sue for) are small claims-- $25,000 is the small claims limit in my jurisdiction, and $1500 is the lowest state-set jurisdictional limit in the US.

In small claims, you can represent yourself. The filing fee can range from free to about $75. As a corporation, Apple needs to send a lawyer across the company to respond to my suit, pay that lawyer $350/hr, pay his travel and lodging expenses, etc etc.

The above is an imbalance that highly favors the plaintiff. In practice, I've never heard of Apple sending a lawyer (outside cases filed in Cupertino) for anything under $5000; they settle, because the costs of not settling are enormously disproportionate. As do almost all corporations.

One-on-one lawsuits and class actions are entirely different things.

Or, they'll default. And then you can pursue them for your $15 default judgement. And after spending hours and hours of your time, they'll send you a $15 check, making the deal work out to about a dollar an hour for you. Hoooray?

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39089267)

Read the other posts in this thread, whydon'tcha, like the woman who opted out of a $200 Toyota settlement and won $10K instead.

The point is that you wouldn't sue for the $15, which is the reduced bulk rate that the firm filing a CLA is willing to accept.

In this case I'd probably file for 18 months service costs ($900 or so), and some amount up to treble damages, so potentially, $3600 or so. I'd typically be glad to settle for 2/3 or so of that.

Personally, it would take me an hour or two to send the proper paperwork and letter, and to file, and a bit more for the associated work. Which works out to a bit over $750/hr. Not ideal, but it'll do.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086511)

My brother lost $10k due to an improper risky investment by Morgan Stanley. There was a class action suit which Morgan Stanley lost. My brother got a check for $3 and the lawyers made millions. He tore up the check.

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086659)

Every time I've been invited to take part in a class action lawsuit, I was sent a postcard saying I had a right to withdraw from the suit and take up my own claim against the company.

If your brother was so upset about the $3 payout, which was likely announced on that postcard, why didn't he tear the postcard up instead and file his own claim?

Re:Lawyers rake it in (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087573)

I think the OP was lying, and was just about to pass it by.

I know of no such CAL against Morgan Stanley, and have followed the news. Certainly there could be something small I don't know about, but...

$3 is a ridiculously small payout on a $10K loss, especially considering treble damages. To keep making the point I've made in other threads: when we're talking about something substantive and tangible and reasonably large, not your VCR rebooting on 3rd Thursdays (yes, that was essentially the jist of a CAL), then you'd often be far better off just litigating it out in your local small claims.

For a $10K loss involving fraudulent activity, I'd file for $25K in my local jurisdiction without prejudice to filing further. Let the CAL do the discovery and other legwork, and bring the whole recoded into the Court. The $25K should be more or less a slam-dunk at that point, and I can decide whether it's worth it to pay a lawyer part of it to go after the $15K that's above the small claims limit at that point.

It probably would be, depending on the strength of the claim (I'm assuming a strong claim).

Sheesh, sorry, the whole "pay a lawyer $1M to litigate a $15 claim" thing around here, is a bit annoying :P

Small claims (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085917)

Can I do what the woman did against Toyota a few weeks ago and sue them on my own in small claims court (unlike the class who received $200, she received almost $8000)? Can I use the evidence presented during the class action in my own case? I didn't join the class action myself.

Re:Small claims (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088079)

Problem is that the amount you get depends on the losses you can prove. A bumper and maybe some loss of the cool sleek looks is apparently worth $15, seemingly ignoring the fact that the phone no longer fits many docks. If you had such a dock you could add the cost of a replacement to the amount claimed. You would also get expenses, but you don't really win anything there since they are things you paid out on.

Your only hope of making significant cash is to show financial loss due to the problem. Dropped calls leading to the loss of a contract or failure of your business, some unlikely event like that. The women you mentioned presumably showed that she personally had lost $8000, perhaps by being injured and having time off work or by the car being devalued by the defect. Beyond that you could ask for punitive damages, but you would need to show that Apple was malicious rather than simply cocking-up.

Way too little, way too late (1)

zamboni1138 (308944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085921)

Well thanks guys, but come on. $15 or a free bumper? After 18+ months?

I already got my free bumper just after I got my iPhone 4. It was, and still is, a piece of shit. It completely ruined the look and feel/smoothness of the phone, messed up the top jack so that the audio aux out to my car was useless and made getting the phone out of my pocket a nightmare. After a few days I ripped it off my iPhone and literally threw it out the window of my car in a fit of rage. It's in a ditch on the side of a country road. It played out like a scene from Penny Arcade.

Re:Way too little, way too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085963)

The $200 fine you deserve for littering should offset whatever you feel you're entitled to from Apple. So it's even.

Fair?

Re:Way too little, way too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085975)

With the by-product of your temper tantrum out the window now ruining the environment, likely choking some bird who later ate it.

Way to fix the situation. Prick.

Re:Way too little, way too late (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086093)

Agreed. I think he should have thrown the whole iphone out the window.

Re:Way too little, way too late (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086209)

Agreed. I think he should have thrown the whole iphone out the window.

Then the ditch animals could duke it out over the new nice and shiny.

cheers,

Re:Way too little, way too late (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086255)

With the by-product of your temper tantrum out the window now ruining the environment, likely choking some bird who later ate it.

Way to fix the situation. Prick.

Irrational pigs who can't control their temper should be done away with.
It's too bad the massive propaganda campaign against such filthy behaviour was misinterpreted,
No wonder the birds are still so angry.

Re:Way too little, way too late (1)

Killer Instinct (851436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087081)

Id like to see a bird who could/would choke on a case for an iphone. Itd be a big un. Maybe it landed next to my verizon phone, which did end up in a ditch one day. Switched to nextel and was happy until Sprint got a hold of them. so now the phone karma gods are getting their revenge. Cant switch to verizon again, hate em. AT&T isnt a good choice, capped, limited. Virgin Mobile? maybe.

Back on topic...class action lawsuits work most of the time, as a deterrent to future business practices. Of course Apple might have 300mil to throw around, but i doubt they make the SAME mistake again.

-KI

Re:Way too little, way too late (-1, Flamebait)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086063)

Your mom told me that you don't play well with the other kids unless you have your special stress pillow. Did you forget it today?

Re:Way too little, way too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086187)

You are the inspiration for this Louis C.K. bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpUNA2nutbk

How much will Ira make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085931)

Class action lawsuits: where companies pay a lawyer millions to prevent the rest of us from suing for that much.

Re:How much will Ira make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086001)

In this case, it was a GLASS action lawsuit.

Har, har, snork...

so opt out of the class action and file a small (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085999)

file a small claims case for the price of your phone... you will likely win since they have admitted they were wrong by settling.

Re:so opt out of the class action and file a small (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086087)

To wit, a woman chose not to join a CAL against Honda and took them to small claims court. Instead of $100 and a $1000 credit towards a new Honda, she won $9,867. [yahoo.com]

15 bucks when they made billions (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086069)

Let us just take 21 million customers (as indicated in the article) for calculation puposes. They are making around $500 bucks on each of the phone according to http://www.bgr.com/2011/10/06/apple-maintains-big-margins-on-iphone-4s-according-to-ubm-analysis// [bgr.com] BGR. Now they have to pay what $300 Million. WOW nice go

Re:15 bucks when they made billions (1)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086123)

What Apple may or may not have made selling the iPhone is irrelevant to this case. What counts are the actual damages. Seems about right.

err am i missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086089)

I dont get it. didnt they already give out free cases to everyone? like a year and a half ago? yea. im pretty sure they did, cause im looking at the 2 i got right now. another lawyer get rich class action nonsense scheme. ridiculous.

Why did they settle? (0)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086091)

I thought it was decided that the iPhone was first and foremost a network device, and just incidentally a phone. At least, that's what many owners are telling me now, so they all seem to have gotten the same memo.

If the iPhone is not primarily a phone, it could be argued that some issues in that area are to be expected. Apple should have stuck it out and established a precedent.

Re:Why did they settle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086225)

Is it an iPhone or an iNetworkDevice?

Re:Why did they settle? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086239)

Good point. "iNetworkDevice" doesn't have the same ring. Get it? Ring? Hello, is anyone out there?

Re:Why did they settle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087609)

Dingalingaling
Boobadoobadoop
Boobadoobadoop

Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring banananetworkdevice
Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring banananetworkdevice
I've got this feeling
So appealing
For us to get together and sing

Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring banananetworkdevice
Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Doh-nananetworkdevice
It grows in bunches
I've got my hunches
It's the best, beats the rest
Cellular, Modular, Interactivodular

Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring banananetworkdevice
Ping Pong Ping Pong Ping Pong Ping Poh-nananetworkdevice
It's no baloney, It ain't a networkdevice-y
My Cellular, Bananular networkdevice

Don't need a quarter, don't need a dime
To call a friend of mine
Don't need a computer, or TV,
To have a real good time,
I'll call for a pizza, I'll call my cat,
Phone the White House, have a chat!
I'll place a call around the world
Operator get me Beijing jing jing jing jing

Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring banananetworkdevice
Ying Yang Ying Yang Ying Yang Ying Doh-nananetworkdevice
A real life mama and papa-networkdevice
A brother and a sister and a dog-a-networkdevice
A grandpa networkdevice and a grandma-networkdevice too
Oh yeah! My Cellular, Bananular networkdevice.

banananetworkdevice, Ring, Ring, Ring
banananetworkdevice, Ring, Ring, Ring
It's a networkdevice with a-peel (appeal)
banananetworkdevice, Ring, Ring, Ring
Now you can have a networkdevice and eat it too
banananetworkdevice, Ring, Ring, Ring
This song drives meBananas!
banananetworkdevice, Ring, Ring, Ring
Boobadooba doop doop doop

*Gate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086137)

Idiots who add the postfix Gate to everything should be plain executed publicly. It sounds stupid, attempts to link whatever with a president conducting criminal activities (old story), and doesn't add any value. Like if these things were comparable or even on the same scale of importance. It's just smokes and mirrors for retards - which seem to have arrived to Slashdot as well it seems.

Re:*Gate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087723)

Oh, and I thought that it had something to do with Baldur's gate...

No more -gates please (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086165)

I'm getting so tired of seeing -gate appended to every issue. Just say "antenna issues" or something. Crying ZOMG ANTENNAGATE does nothing to actually help me remember which lawsuit we're talking about because my eyes start glazing over and I bet this won't be the last time there will be antenna troubles either.

That and the issue is nowhere near as important or as shocking as the actual Watergate scandal. Stop it. All of you.

Finally, justice (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086263)

This is for alll of you Apple haters out there that cry "double standards" and to prove that, once and for all, Apple gets the same slap on the wrist as everybody else.

A free bumper sticker ?!? (2)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086325)

One that says: "I bought an iPhone without a working antenna and now I'm eagerly waiting for the next model" ?

A lawyer scam (2)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086343)

Class action suits over consumer electronics are basically an extortion scam (albeit a legal one) perpetrated by lawyers. It works as follow:

1. Contact the media, announce a class action lawsuit demanding a huge amount of money over a "flaw" in a widely sold product.
2. Contact the company, offer to settle for pennies on the dollar. The company nearly always settles, regardless of the merits, because it would cost more to fight the suit.
3. The members of the class (i.e. the customers) get a pittance, often hardly enough to pay them for the time to fill out the paperwork.
4. But the lawyer gets a slice of every one of those piddly little settlements, which adds up to a nice chunk of change for hardly any work.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:A lawyer scam (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086509)

If you believe in conspiracies, then it may actually be one of Apple's own lawyers who initiated the suit.

Re:A lawyer scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086601)

Why would a conspiracy be needed when just about everyone already knows the fix?

Re:A lawyer scam (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086655)

You'd have to be very conspiracy-minded indeed to think that there are so few unethical lawyers around that Apple would need to invent some

Re:A lawyer scam (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087753)

You sir, clearly, have never worked at a class action firm.

The risks and costs of such litigation are real and large. A failed case can cost a firm millions. Hundreds of thousands are often spent researching cases that go nowhere. Very few lawyers get filthy rich, as opposed to standard compensation, from CALs.

Re:A lawyer scam (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088737)

Yeah, right. Research for what? To discover that the iPhone's signal is weakened when you hold it a certain way? Like every other such personal electronics class action suit I've heard of, the "flaw" was already public knowledge when the suit was filed. But I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that exaggerated costs are part of the scam. No wonder the settlement to the individual class member almost always turns out to be not worth the time it takes to fill out the paperwork. Not if the law firm is taking out costs based on charging $500 an hour for the time its employees spend trolling the web for news of product "flaws" that can be trumped up into one of these legal-extortion lawsuits.

Re:A lawyer scam (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088959)

You obviously have no idea what a law firm does.

In addition to the technical resources, you have to do legal research, often tons of it. Junior associates have to show up at 5 and stay until 10 to get this done, often under deadline-- and the firm competes to find people capable of that (most burn out within a year or two). These costs come right out of the firms' pocket, long before any chance of profits.

Running a large class-action is not a slam-dunk process by any means. It can often require the long hours and co-ordinated work of tens or hundreds of individuals. It's not small claims; you don't just show up and say "it didn't work, hey judge, here's the press articles that say it didn't work and many other people had problems." The discovery process alone, in which you request and review company documents and communications (etc etc; you're likely to spend hours and hours on depositions in something like this) can eat up a few hundred thousands in a blink of an eye.

But, hey, if you want to persist in your delusions, do so... no skin off my back.

Thankfully (I think) they fixed the 4S! (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086455)

You know, speaking as an Apple Fanboi, I'll admit they made a goof with the antenna design. While maybe not "bad" (or worse than its competitors) there was clearly a design flaw and it could've been better.

That's (one of the reasons) why I waited for the 4S.

They fixed that problem and added some new features. I'm sure there will never again be an obvious antenna flaw on any Apple iProduct. Isn't that right Siri?

Uhhhh what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086503)

I'm clearly missing something here. Didn't Apple voluntarily offer up a free bumbler or (even better than $15) a full no questions asked refund to anyone that felt they had a problem!?!?!?!? This was done almost immediately after the 4 issue was uncovered.

So some dumb (or brilliant depending on your perspective) lawyers charged millions in fees to accomplish a "settlement" that's even less generous than what Apple offered up voluntarily? God bless America.

great (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39086595)

mine's in India.
sold it with the free case i got from apple.

who the hell didn't take them up on it when it was offered the first time around?

IMO the case I got then was better than Apple's bumper (which was slow shipping at the time) anyway.

I need bonch to explain why Android is worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39086651)

Can bonch or one of his 50 other accounts please post why whatever Google does is worse than this?

If you could also work in the idea that Apple has no control over its' suppliers business practices, and cannot be blamed for anything because it's just a small underdog company with no influence and virtually no market share, that would be great. Conflating Android's app security measures with Mountain Lion's would also be wonderful, especially if you ignore you conveniently ignore iOS in your argument.

Is there a hotel called Antennagate? (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39087471)

I'm still puzzled by the urge to put "gate" at the end of any type of scandal or conspiracy.

Re:Is there a hotel called Antennagate? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39088125)

If there were a lawsuit & scandal over Bill Gates tripping over something, it would be called GatesGaitGate.

Re:Is there a hotel called Antennagate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39088443)

good one

See? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39088423)

From the summary: The settlement has its own Web site, www.iPhone4Settlement.com, which will be up in the coming weeks (the site doesn't go anywhere right now).

You're typing it wrong.
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