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Apple Sued Over iPhone Non-Replaceable Batteries

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the overly-litigious dept.

The Courts 574

UnknowingFool writes "A customer named Jose Trujillo has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple over the iPhone batteries. According to the suit, Apple did not disclose that the batteries of the iPhone were not user-replaceable. Also the plaintiff alleges that the battery will need to replaced every year. When a battery needs to be replaced, the customer will be without a phone for several days unless the customer pays $29.95 for a loaner phone service. Lastly, the plaintiff alleges that the battery information was difficult to find on Apple's website."

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574 comments

Stupidest lawsuit ever (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046703)

But let's not even talk about that. Let's not even talk about the horrid spelling, grammar, and general rambling idiocy of the lawsuit. Let's not even consider that these questions have been asked and answered [ipodbatteryfaq.com] [1] for years with the iPod. Let's actually focus on the actual issues at hand.

The iPhone doesn't have a user-replaceable battery, but it is replaceable. This is the same as all iPods for the last several years. And no, the iPhone isn't the first of these devices to have a battery that is soldered. Various iPod models have already had soldered batteries. Also, the battery replacement information was available the day the iPhone shipped. So, nothing new here.

As to the "difficulty" of finding the information on Apple's site:

Main iPhone support page [apple.com] -> Battery Service: FAQ [apple.com] and iPhone Service: FAQ [apple.com]

and

Apple Batteries [apple.com] -> Apple iPhone Batteries [apple.com]

Wow. Difficult.

Additionally, asking any Apple retail store, customer service representative, dealer, authorized service provider, etc., will yield a direct and immediate answer about battery replacement.

It's also utterly and ridiculously false to say that a new battery is required every year. All lithium ion batteries have about the same lifetime. The iPhone's lithium ion battery is no different. Most people will not need, or feel they need, to replace the battery in the lifetime of the phone (i.e., while they own and are using it). The "400 charges" thing isn't any 400 charges; partial charges are just that: partial. This lithium ion battery is no different from any other.

Also, the battery is covered by the warranty, and if you choose to extend the warranty to two years with the $69 AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone [apple.com] , the battery is covered under that as well. There are even already third party replacement options [ipodjuice.com] . As with iPod, more are sure to come.

The customer also doesn't have to be without a phone for several days, and claiming that they do because there is a fee for a loaner is ridiculous. Just pretend that the battery replacement costs $29 more, then. You are not without a phone at all: you swap SIMs, sync once with iTunes, and it will literally look, act, feel, and behave like your phone, with your phone number and all of your data. Seeing how Apple has done such programs in the past, the loaner phone will probably be a new service phone or a factory-refurbished phone in a brand new enclosure (so it looks physically brand new). The total price is almost the same as the official iPod battery replacement plan was for years. If you choose to not have a phone in the meantime, that's your choice.

A recent New York Times article by Joe Nocera [nytimes.com] sums it up best:

I'm convinced the answer is that the chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, and Apple's design chief, Jonathan Ive, are design snobs, who care more about form than function. Larry Keeley, the president of the design firm Doblin Inc., wrote me an e-mail message after he'd seen the innards of the iPhone, which several Web sites have now published. The battery, he told me, lacks the normal metal jacket, making it ''thinner and lighter, while also making it more difficult for consumers to handle or dispose of.'' He added: ''This is clear evidence that they are optimizing the INSIDES of the phone to the OUTSIDE form factor that they have designed. It is far more common and much cheaper to design the other way: pile up all the components you have to stuff inside, then figure out the sexiest box that can contain them.''

Exactly. Exactly/. This wasn't done for "planned obsolescence". This wasn't done to force people into buying new phones. This was an engineering decision, plain and simple, just as it was with the iPod. It allows a much higher capacity battery in a much smaller, sleeker, and lighter enclosure, unscathed by battery doors, screws, clips, or any other mechanism required. And no, they couldn't just make the back slide off and allow the customer to replace the battery: they'd need to segregate it internally, and do a lot more to make it "user serviceable", all of which will add weight and thickness to a device measured in grams and millimeters, at the same time probably necessitating a smaller battery, which in turn equates to lesser life.

No reasoning anyone can come up with will persuade Apple to have a user-replaceable battery. They've made the choice and made tradeoffs for size and performance that many people would prefer, and you don't have to buy an iPhone. This model worked on the iPod, and it will work on the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone is a different device because it's a phone. No, you won't have to be without it. Most people won't even need a new battery before they get a new phone. Those that do have a mechanism to do it.

The funniest thing of all is that most iPhone owners won't ever even want or need to replace their batteries. They'll have the same slow degradation everyone experiences with lithium ion batteries over time, and before they'd even care or consider replacing it even if it was user-replaceable, they'll be on their next phone.

Thankfully, if you still think it needs a user-accessible battery, no one is forcing you to buy an iPhone.

[1] Disclaimer: that is my web site

TYPICAL (1, Troll)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046721)

This is typical Apple. Let's make the device useless in a year so they have to buy another one. And they call MS evil...

Where the FUCK is iLife '07??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046761)

Come ON you homosexual deviants in Cupertino. QUIT FUCKING AROUND and update your fucking software every so often. You mincing faggots are worse than Debian...

mod up: insightful (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047371)

hey, software lock in is evil. software and hardware lock in with a stylish gui is the bomb!

-

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (0, Redundant)

imamac (1083405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046743)

Well said. I especially love this: "Also the plaintiff alleges that the battery will need to replaced every year." He knows this since his iPhone is now 1 year old, right?

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046757)

Well, thats about how long a typical li-ion battery lasts before it loses its useful charging capacity. Unless Apple has a super li-ion battery that I never heard of before :)

(and if they do, more power to them!)

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047183)

Isn't it charge cycles that matter, not time?

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (3, Interesting)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047297)

Apple say, on their battery page, that the battery will hold 80% of its original charge after 400 full charge cycles.

Now, in absolute fairness, you'd be doing bloody well to use more than one full charge cycle per day for a year, and even if you did the battery still wouldn't need replacing.

The only people this will affect are people buying second-hand iPhones, which isn't this guy.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046893)

Spoken like a true fanboi.

Hopefully there is someone who cares about you enough to intervene, and have you deprogrammed. A good first step would be to remove the Apple logo bumper sticker from your Volkswagen "New Beetle". Good luck!

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046923)

Wow, what a great rebuttal.

...

Fuck off, cocksucker.

When did we get sue happy? (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047099)

Hmm...so someone that is too lazy or whatever, to do basic research before buying a new expensive product, can just bring about a lawsuit over it?

How hard would it be to ask the salesperson when buying said phone? Once home and the phone was taken out of the packaging, wouldn't you notice there is not place to access the battery? If so, don't you have a certain number of days to return the phone and get your money back if not satisfied with it?

I mean, there are reasons to sue companies, but, lets get real....suing because YOU did do basic research before buying something, to understand how it would work and function...isn't what is supposed to happen.

Damn, when did our society decide that the answer to all of lifes problems was through litigation.

"...old Billy was right, let's kill all the lawyers, let's kill them tonight..."

--The Eagles.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (5, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046931)

I thought it was a Li-Poly battery?

Regardless, 400 full discharge-recharge cycles to get to 80% capacity will extend beyond 2 years for the vast majority of people. If your phone is that important that you use it all the time and hit that sooner then you'll have AppleCare anyway (if the battery drops to 50% capacity), or dropping $120 won't phase you a bit.

Clearly Apple think that the battery will remain over 50% for the vast majority of users for two years, otherwise they wouldn't offer AppleCare for that long.

I don't know about the capacity/time graph for Li-Poly batteries - it could be that it takes 400 cycles to get to 80%, then another 100 to get to 20% rather than a more gradual thing, anyone know?

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (0, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046935)

Brilliant...

multi-media toy == productive business gadget.

It's this kind of stupidity that leads to phones that aren't readily serviceable.

The fact that you can characterize this as an "engineering decision" doesn't alter the fact that you can be held responsible for it. This is why there is serious professional certification for real engineers. Your PE license is on the line anytime you sign your name to something.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (4, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047143)


yea... you can be held responsible for a decision like this.

The choice to make a part non user serviceable is never going to cost anyone their PE. For fucks sake what the hell is wrong with you people. Are you so excited to shit on some new gadget that you have to make shit up like this?

The thing that is supposed to hold you responsible is the free market. Not some fucking lawsuit. Apple has made no attempt to hide the fact that the battery is not user serviceable. If apple had somehow hidden that fact they would be guilty of false advertising but its seems pretty clear from the grandparent post that they did not make any attempt to hide this fact.

If a non user servicable battery makes the iPhone useless to you, DON'T BUY IT. If most people agree with you then the product will be a failure and maybe the next iPhone will have a user serviceable battery. I dont see any evidence here that apple has marketed this phone falsely or claimed it can do something it cant. Unless they have then a lawsuit is totally out of line.

Maybe Not (1, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047235)

Every Engineering Department I've worked with would have designed a user-replaceable battery and called it a "common sense" feature. Which it is.

In exchange for whatever coolness that's been bestowed upon you for parting ways with $500+ for the device, you assume the hidden costs of cool.

This brings us to the magic of the Steve Jobs RDF: You and your brethren feel good paying more for less.

Standing? (3, Interesting)

JohnnySonic (678685) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046965)

Uh, IANAL, but I don't see how this guy has standing. He is citing future problems he might have with his iPhone that are not imminent, rather, they are conjectural and hypothetical. Buyer's remorse does not make a legal case! (except maybe in America)

Pro Se nonsense (3, Insightful)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046977)

This guy filed the lawsuit on his own probably because no attorney would take it because it is worthless. Pro Se (i.e. filed without the aid of conusel) class actions don't have a good record of victories.

Nuts file lawsuits every day. This is hardly news even if it is against Apple.

Re:Stupidest -customer- ever (-1, Flamebait)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047019)


The iPhone doesn't have a user-replaceable battery, but it is replaceable. This is the same as all iPods for the last several years. And no, the iPhone isn't the first of these devices to have a battery that is soldered. Various iPod models have already had soldered batteries. Also, the battery replacement information was available the day the iPhone shipped. So, nothing new here.


So you ranted on and on (forever actually) about how the info was known in advance and can be found on the site.

Let me ask you: how does the fact that you KNOW the battery is soldered, is making it any better for you, as an iPhone owner, when you'll have to ship it to Apple for a $100 replacement?

Is it? Does disclosing of intentionally crippled architecture of the device mean we can't be dissatisfied with the serviceability of the phone? Does it mean people are happy with their crippled iPod batteries (judging by the web, no, they aren't).

You need you to grow some balls and face the reality: Apple has intentionally crippled these products for no better reason than remain in tight control of the battery replacement procedure and get some cash from there too.

This makes them somewhat sad, but the fact that you as a customer (I suppose you don't work at Apple) defend them, is even sadder.

Re:Stupidest -customer- ever (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047137)

I sincerely doubt he's a customer, considering he always refers to iPhone customers in the third person. He wasn't defending the iPhone from a business standpoint, just a legal standpoint. Last I heard, it wasn't illegal to make a product with a soldered on battery.

Get a grip, man.

Re:Stupidest -customer- ever (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047197)

So you ranted on and on (forever actually) about how the info was known in advance and can be found on the site.

No. I devoted two lines to that, in addition to the URLs where the information is located.

Yeah, that's "forever".

...

Let me ask you: how does the fact that you KNOW the battery is soldered, is making it any better for you, as an iPhone owner, when you'll have to ship it to Apple for a $100 replacement?

It doesn't make it any better or worse. If I ever do feel I need to replace the battery and don't have another phone already by that point, I'll pay to get it replaced. I fail to see what the big deal is.

Is it? Does disclosing of intentionally crippled architecture of the device mean we can't be dissatisfied with the serviceability of the phone? Does it mean people are happy with their crippled iPod batteries (judging by the web, no, they aren't).

It's not intentionally crippled. I know it's fashionable to think that it was done to fleece customers or force people into buying new iPods, when in reality it was done to decrease the size and weight of the phone for a given battery capacity, and give the iPod a sleek, unblemished enclosure, both of which are things that are huge factors in the iPod's success.

You need you to grow some balls and face the reality: Apple has intentionally crippled these products for no better reason than remain in tight control of the battery replacement procedure and get some cash from there too.

Let's re-read the actual truth of the matter:

I'm convinced the answer is that the chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, and Apple's design chief, Jonathan Ive, are design snobs, who care more about form than function. Larry Keeley, the president of the design firm Doblin Inc., wrote me an e-mail message after he'd seen the innards of the iPhone, which several Web sites have now published. The battery, he told me, lacks the normal metal jacket, making it ''thinner and lighter, while also making it more difficult for consumers to handle or dispose of.'' He added: ''This is clear evidence that they are optimizing the INSIDES of the phone to the OUTSIDE form factor that they have designed. It is far more common and much cheaper to design the other way: pile up all the components you have to stuff inside, then figure out the sexiest box that can contain them.''

This makes them somewhat sad, but the fact that you as a customer (I suppose you don't work at Apple) defend them, is even sadder.

Yeah, it's "sad" that I post the facts of the situation as a comment to slashdot, but somehow not sad that a guy finds a lawyer who can't spell and files a lawsuit against Apple about a fucking battery in a cell phone?

Whatever.

Re:Stupidest -customer- ever (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047231)

Let me ask you: how does the fact that you KNOW the battery is soldered, is making it any better for you, as an iPhone owner, when you'll have to ship it to Apple for a $100 replacement?

Because if you know that it doesn't have a user serviceable battery and that is a serious issue for you, you wont actually buy the iPhone in the first place.

Billions of people world wide have failed to purchase an iPhone today? Who held a gun to your head and made you buy yours?

You can be dissatisfied with the iPhone, but you show that buy not buying it, not by going out and purchasing one and then filling a bogus lawsuit over it.

Re:Stupidest -customer- ever (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047347)

If you don't like it you could try-- oh, I dunno --not buying it? No one is twisting your arm to purchase a $500 cell phone/iPod. If you want it enough to where the battery won't stop you from purchasing the product, then you deserve to deal with the repercussions of your decision.

If you haven't purchased an iPhone because of the battery, then you're making a choice as an informed consumer. If it's really a deal-breaker for you, take your business somewhere else. That is your right as a consumer. Remember caveat emptor, exercise your rights as a consumer, and DON'T support a completely baseless lawsuit filed by a nut who can't even ask the store clerk a question.

I swear, the only thing worse than all the hype about the iPhone is all the anti-hype it has created. :-/

Re:Stupidest -customer- ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047589)

Judging anything by the Web makes you just as stupid as this guy.

Seriously, nobody cares. Battery replacement is less than 5% of the 2-year TCO of the device.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (5, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047053)

You are absolutely right that the lawsuit has no basis, and that Apple has informed sufficiently about the batteries. However, I don't think your first argument is valid:

Let's not even consider that these questions have been asked and answered[1] for years with the iPod.

Believe it or not, but there still are a few of us who had no idea that this was the case with the iPod, as we're not interested in the device. In addition, arguing that because one product doesn't have easily replaceable batteries another product wouldn't have them either is not entirely logical.

Personally, I'd be more concerned about the reports I've heard that iTunes is required for activating the cell phone. Apple's Web site doesn't state that iTunes is required (at least I couldn't find the information); it merely suggests to use iTunes for the phone activation. As a Linux user I'd be screwed if iTunes was indeed required, and I wouldn't be told before purchasing the Apple phone.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047565)

If you look here [apple.com] , you will find what you're looking for:

Mac system requirements
Mac computer with USB 2.0 port
Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later
iTunes 7.3 or later

Windows system requirements
PC with USB 2.0 port
Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate Edition; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later
iTunes 7.3 or later
No mention of Linux anywhere.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047077)

The iPhone doesn't have a user-replaceable battery, but it is replaceable. This is the same as all iPods for the last several years. And no, the iPhone isn't the first of these devices to have a battery that is soldered. Various iPod models have already had soldered batteries. Also, the battery replacement information was available the day the iPhone shipped. So, nothing new here.


Dave, the iPhone isn't an iPod. Yes, it has iPod functions. But first and foremost -- it's a phone. And people are expecting these things to be able to be used a productive business tool. Instead, they are multimedia toys. Great for consumers, bad for people who need a real tool.

The funniest thing of all is that most iPhone owners won't ever even want or need to replace their batteries. They'll have the same slow degradation everyone experiences with lithium ion batteries over time, and before they'd even care or consider replacing it even if it was user-replaceable, they'll be on their next phone.


No planned obsolescence? Dave, what you just said is the definition of planned obsolescence!

Thankfully, if you still think it needs a user-accessible battery, no one is forcing you to buy an iPhone.


And it's one of reasons behind my decision to choose not to buy one for myself.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047253)

"And people are expecting these things to be able to be used a productive business tool."

Actually, they aren't. The iPhones are only for personal use. My boss has one, and he had to argue with the customer service person for about twenty minutes to convince her that she could send the bill to a business address. He had to swear up and down that this was not a business phone, and that he was merely sending the bill there for personal convenience.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047327)


Wow... thats a royal pain in the ass. what if you actually wanted to use one for business?

Im sure they have legal reasons for not officially supporting enterprise customers... but damn. That just seems harsh.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047309)

Dave, the iPhone isn't an iPod. Yes, it has iPod functions. But first and foremost -- it's a phone. And people are expecting these things to be able to be used a productive business tool. Instead, they are multimedia toys. Great for consumers, bad for people who need a real tool.

Which is why the iPhone is a consumer-targeted device. It hasn't been marketed to business or enterprise, isn't sold via Apple's federal, education, or developer stores, and isn't offered via AT&T on anything but personal accounts with individual responsibility - no corporate or business accounts.

If people find ways to still get an iPhone and shoehorn it in as a direct Blackberry or Treo replacement, that's their choice. Neither Apple nor AT&T are marketing or targeting it as such in any way, shape, or form.

No planned obsolescence? Dave, what you just said is the definition of planned obsolescence!

No. I noted that, for most people, "before they'd even care or consider replacing it even if it was user-replaceable, they'll be on their next phone".

The reverse of that - people buying a new phone because their old phone needs a new battery - would be planned obsolescence. What I said is the opposite of that. If people already have a new phone before they even needed a new battery, that's not "planned obsolescence".

And it's one of reasons behind my decision to choose not to buy one for myself.

Wonderful simplicity, is it not? Not buying things that don't serve your needs or meet your liking?

Next time a product isn't exactly what I want it to be, maybe I'll file a lawsuit.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047475)

And people are expecting these things to be able to be used a productive business tool. Instead, they are multimedia toys. Great for consumers, bad for people who need a real tool.
Right- the iPhone is a consumer device. Consumers lined up for hours on the release day, not IT departments. So now people can sue for expecting a consumer device to be designed for enterprise use?

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047089)

It's also utterly and ridiculously false to say that a new battery is required every year. All lithium ion batteries have about the same lifetime. The iPhone's lithium ion battery is no different. Most people will not need, or feel they need, to replace the battery in the lifetime of the phone (i.e., while they own and are using it). The "400 charges" thing isn't any 400 charges; partial charges are just that: partial. This lithium ion battery is no different from any other.
The battery in my blackberry 7520 lasted about 5 months before i needed to go to the system that i've got now...two batteries, using one of my old berries as a charger. This is one HUGE reason that the iphone will never ever be a blackberry killer. Can you imagine be a sys-admin or other person that needs to be on call 100% of the time having their battery go dead? Don't give me that "they should have been responsible and chared it" B.S. either, nobody should have to change their habits to make up for a device that is supposed to help them's shortcomings.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047161)

The lawsuit may be a joke filed by a nutjob, but that doesn't change the fact that the iPhone deserves to fail over this issue. I hope this silly lawsuit will generate more consumer awareness.

I had an iPod and loved everything about it but the battery. I won't be buying another iPod and knew to stay away from the iPhone.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047239)

1) The battery is Li-Poly and those do not last as long as Li-ion, but are safer.
2) There should be no need to google/ask jeeves/read FAQ to find out that your phone battery cannot be serviced.

Information about the battery should be displayed on the box.

You know it and I know it that this phone is designed for 1-2 years of use. But less technically inclined should at least get a chance to find out.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (5, Insightful)

Jekler (626699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047251)

"Let's not even consider that these questions have been asked and answered[1] for years with the iPod."

Yes, let us not consider it because we have no reason to assume the plaintiff has been following the iPod issues for years.

"The iPhone doesn't have a user-replaceable battery, but it is replaceable. This is the same as all iPods for the last several years."

Again, we have no reason to assume the plaintiff has been following the iPod issues for years. Replaceable but not user-replaceable isn't acceptable to many people, including myself. Why should the plaintiff be expected to be knowledgeable about Apple technology? If he's looking for a cell phone and he buys one that seems to be the best of the bunch, expecting it to have a user-replaceable battery like virtually every other cell phone doesn't seem like an outrageous expectation. If your cell phone is your primary means of communication, having to take it in for service to get the battery replaced can be unacceptable, putting you out of contact for days while you wait for service to be completed.

"It's also utterly and ridiculously false to say that a new battery is required every year."

Lithium-Ion batteries, especially under heavy use and recharge cycles, have their performance severely degrade after a year.

"As to the "difficulty" of finding the information on Apple's site"

"Additionally, asking any Apple retail store, customer service representative, dealer, authorized service provider, etc., will yield a direct and immediate answer about battery replacement."

Yes, the answer is easy to find once you realize what the problem is. Before you know there's a problem, it's not immediately obvious. The same goes for asking a rep. It's a very specific question. You're obviously an iPod fan, you seem to think of it as an iPod+, but consider that it's being marketed at people who think it's a fancy cell phone, people who may not know about Apple's engineering and decision making processes.

"Just pretend that the battery replacement costs $29 more"

Why should someone have to pay $29 extra for a new battery? Why would you even consider that an acceptable additional cost?

"The funniest thing of all is that most iPhone owners won't ever even want or need to replace their batteries. They'll have the same slow degradation everyone experiences with lithium ion batteries over time, and before they'd even care or consider replacing it even if it was user-replaceable, they'll be on their next phone."

That's more of a "Generation Y" mentality. Some of us older folk don't run out to get the latest greatest model of everything. Some of us make periodic upgrades when there's truly a major breakthrough, but largely don't change devices until there's a pressing need.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit ever (4, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047521)


so apple has to advertise that the battery is not user replaceable.

Why doesn't blackberry packaging have to inform you that its web browser isn't fully compatible with modern web applications? I mean, I expect the web to work the way it does in firefox. Since my shinny new blackberry tells me a I can surf the web on it shouldn't it work the same way?

Verizon cripples the Bluetooth on all its phones so you can only use them with earpieces and not to transfer files. Why don't they have to have a warning label on every phone they sell?

I don't buy the idea that apple has to shout all of the limitations of its products from the rooftops but other companies don't have to.

Well this is a dumb fucking lawsuit. (0, Troll)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046711)

But if he pulls it off, maybe it will open the doors to suing printer companies for shitty cartridges that are too replaceable.

Re:Well this is a dumb fucking lawsuit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046959)

Except printer cartridges are marked as empty by the software when they have been barely used.

Re:Well this is a dumb fucking lawsuit. (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047487)

Hence the phrase "all too replaceable."

WOW (0, Troll)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046715)

Wow. I'm a law student, so I like to think I understand that people can and will sue over anything. But Wow. This is shameful.

Re:WOW (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046919)

Wow. I'm a law student, so I like to think I understand that people can and will sue over anything. But Wow. This is shameful.

As a law student, you do realize that stupid people filing stupid lawsuits are the ones who pay you clever lawyers' bills right? Unless of course you're studying law to become a judge or something (in which case congrats, but if you plan on becoming a lawyer after the bar, may you turn green in hue and die in a freak accident or something, do the world a favor, please, thank you very much in advance...).

Re:WOW (1)

chiph (523845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047349)

Don't get any ideas.

A good take-away from this would be: "People who file dumb lawsuits aren't that popular with the general public, and give the profession a bad reputation."

Chip H.

Let me be the first to say (0, Troll)

EvilEddie (243404) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046729)

WAAAAAAAAHHHH!

Oh, FFS... (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046733)

1) Did anyone NOT know the batteries weren't replaceable?
2) If he didn't like it, why didn't he return it for a refund?
3) Has he actually been harmed yet? One of the parts about civil courts is that there actually need to BE damages, not just potential damages, except for certain circumstances.

Re:Oh, FFS... (2, Funny)

goober1473 (714415) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046813)

I half expected number three to be "profit".

Re:Oh, FFS... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046827)

1. The guy never had internet access until he got his iPhone, so after he got it he could finally use the internet to realize that the phone doesn't have a replaceable battary

2. Then he couldn't sue about it.... Duh... Or his phone is so hip and trendy he doesn't want to return it.

3. Emotional Strain knowing that his hip and trendy phone will need a new battery in the future.

Re:Oh, FFS... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047389)

2) If he didn't like it, why didn't he return it for a refund?

My thought too. Apple's iPhone refund policy is a 100% refund in the first 14 days of purchase if the box had not been opened. 90% refund within the first 14 days if the box had been opened. Instead of a maximum of $60 charge, the customer decided to sue after less than a month of the product's debut.

Apple Really Dodged A Bullet Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046735)

Thanks to the crappy iPhone sales there just aren't going to be enough people for Apple to worry about suffering any significant monetary damages.

Gotta hand it to Jobs, the Apple 'overpriced, underfeatured, and overhyped' strategy pays off again!

Re:Apple Really Dodged A Bullet Here (0, Troll)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047339)

Ah yes, because selling 7,500 iPhones per hour in the first 30 hours of its release is "crappy".

boo hoo (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046737)

it's not like there were any articles on the web he could have read about the iphone, so that he might have learned the deal with the batteries.

Most likely by the time batteries start dying, he'll be able to take it into a local business and they'll replace the battery while you wait, probably for less than apple would charge.

Re:boo hoo (0, Troll)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046801)

Although he probably shouldn't win this trial, You would thank that Apple would have learned their lesson by now. With all the complaints about iPods having non-user-replaceable batteries, you would think that they would have changed the design. Especially on a cell phone, as I have never had a cell phone who's battery laster more than 1.5 years, and I'm not even a heavy user. Also, the fact that most people cannot be without their phone for a week while it's being repaired. If you can't listen to your music, it kind of sucks. If you can't contact any of your business contacts, or have to wait by a landline, or get a loaner phone, which probably doesn't have all your calendar and address book information, that a lot worse.

Re:boo hoo (1)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046877)

You're not without your contacts, music, or calendar. This information is sync'd to your phone from iTunes. If you pay the $29 for the loaner, then it will be sync'd to the loaner just as it was sync'd to your iPhone.

Re:boo hoo (2, Informative)

tmarthal (998456) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046989)

or get a loaner phone, which probably doesn't have all your calendar and address book information, that a lot worse.

Uhh, I had to do a factory reset of my iPhone via iTunes the day after it came out (this is due to my user error, it hardlocked and I could have power+menu button together hard-reset it, but I didn't read the manual!). My contact information, SMS, calendar, Safari Bookmarks, Voicemails(!) all were saved. All were re-loaded onto my iPhone after the software reset and re-activation (which was "This phone is already activated."). [Note: this has to do with how the iphone syncs other program information.]

The only thing that I lost was my Camera Roll pictures (the ones that were taken with the phone), because I hadn't known at the time how to offload the pictures onto my computer (since fixed). And when I was playing with the picture settings, two (of seven) pictures that I had added to contacts were removed (but that was because I was fiddling with the on computer cached images).

So, if Apple gave me another loaner phone, I could just plug it into iTunes and have a fully functional replica re-synced phone in 2 minutes.

Everyone says that the iPhone revolution is all in the software, and it is.

Re:boo hoo (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047025)

You buy this phone for its unique design -- its look, its thin, smooth lines are the product. If one of the consequences of that design is that the battery is not user-accessible then so be it. I would invite someone who wants to have both features to design a phone themselves.

The only thing that comes close to being the basis for a lawsuit is his claim that this was an undisclosed feature of this product. Wait, no it's still not even close for reasons others have described.

The price you pay for... (5, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046755)

for early acceptance.

for not doing your research.

for not waiting to know if the product is going to fit your lifestyle.

for being a consumer whore.

i'm sure after seeing the success of the iphone we'll see plenty of other options, and as time goes newer revisions of the iphone will also get better batteries i'm sure. This is just kind of what you get when you buy into the first version of something so new and groundbreaking. As i recall the first generation or two of the ipod were less than stellar also, but the last few generations have been pretty solid.

Re:The price you pay for... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046803)

Well, I couldn't disagree less. See, the advantages outweigh the downsides on at least 4 different levels.

First, the phone itself is

oh, I've got an incoming call and I'm posting this from my iPhone. Will finish post later.

Re:The price you pay for... (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047119)

Sorry. This is a bunch of BS. First, Apple should have known better. Cellphones have replaceable batteries for a REASON! I have seen batteries that fail in a year and I have also seen them last for 5 years. The only thing is people can use the hell out of their iPhone and the iPod and then the battery needs replaced in less than a year. It's EASY to do.

Now should he have known this before? Yes. Does it mean Apple isn't stupid for designing it the way they did? No, Apple is moronic to do it this way. Why? Just think of all the money they can over charge you to pick up a second battery!

"Bleeding Edge" (-1, Offtopic)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046763)

Another reason to stay six months behind the bleeding edge of technology.

Re:"Bleeding Edge" (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046845)

No, it's a good reason to get yourself a soldering iron and learn how to use it. Replacing ipod batteries is easy and cheap, and the replacement batteries usually come with the tools for cleanly opening up the case. I'm sure they'll have the same thing for iPhones soon too.

seems premature (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046783)

Shouldn't they establish first that the battery _needs_ to be replaced more often, than say, some capacitor on the board? Why not sue over any other part in the product not being socketed or user replaceable?

The iphone is very thin and seamless. It probably could not accommodate the same aesthetics and size if it had a removable battery. If you want a phone with a removable battery there are lots of big clunky ones to choose from.

Re:seems premature (1)

Error27 (100234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047069)

He couldn't look into the battery situation before buying the phone but now he's looking a year into the future to plan his battery replacement. He's claiming to be both stupid and smart. He's partly right.

Re:seems premature (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047133)

big clunky? stfu fanboi. there are tons of phones out there that are smaller that have replaceable batteries. most don't even require a screwdriver.

you're a moron and whomever modded you insightful needs to get a life.

It is baseless, meritless suits like these... (0, Troll)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046825)

...that really perk up my Monday mornings with a full serving of outrage and indignation.

<sarcasm>
A new Apple iThingy with a sealed in battery! No. You're kidding! Go on.
</sarcasm>

Stupid, UNTIL you think about ithe big picture.... (3, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046829)

How many times have you witnessed a company actually fighting back against one of these class-action suits? I'm sure they have, but I can't recall ever reading about it?

It seems like no matter how lame the lawsuit, companies always settle these (usually in such a way that gives relatively little to the plaintiffs, like a 20% off coupon on a future purchase or something).

Given the potential for bad publicity that could be generated by the media reporting "Company A, today, fought back against consumers who filed suit over their defective product", it's a good bet they'll cough up some sort of "freebie" for the product owners.

So yeah, it's an incredibly dumb lawsuit, but there's a GREAT chance it will just mean Apple makes the lawyer involved a lot richer, and throws some small "bone" to everyone who owns the iPhone. Maybe a credit at the Apple store equivalent to the cost of 1 battery replacement or something?
     

Re:Stupid, UNTIL you think about ithe big picture. (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046887)

Of course they settle because those stupid coupons don't cost them anything. If this class-action lawsuit is settled the people in it will probably get a $10 coupon for the itunes store or something and the lawyers -- on both sides -- will get hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are the only ones who benefit.

Re:Stupid, UNTIL you think about ithe big picture. (2, Insightful)

apt142 (574425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047195)

Well, Apple's lawyers are already in the budget (on Salary/Retainer/Funded breeding programs). So, for them, it's just a cost of doing business. So this particular case doesn't cost them any more than what they were expecting to have come out of the bottom line anyways.

The guy is just wasting his time for relatively nothing. He might have been better off writing a scathing letter to customer service instead of hiring a lawyer.

Re:Stupid, UNTIL you think about ithe big picture. (1)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047055)

I say Apple should just give him free battery replacements until he's done with his phone.

Loaner extra.

It's likely that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046831)

It's likely that the guy tried to return it and could not.
If that is the case, Cell phones not having a user-replacable battery is ridiculous. They all do, there's no reason Apple cannot follow this standard.

If that is not the case, and he did not try to return it, his case will be thrown out, he'll be laughed at and have to pay attorneys fees.

Give him his money back (0, Troll)

just someone (13587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046833)

Release an official statement.
Mr X should return his iphone for a refund. Call us.

This is crazy. (3, Informative)

scifience (674659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046847)

Should I sue Oral-B because my electric toothbrush has a non-user-replaceable rechargeable battery? Honda because my hybrid Accord has a whole array of non-user-replaceable batteries?

Hard to find the info on the battery replacement? Google "iphone battery" and you'll get this [google.com] ... the official Apple site is the second result, and the first one is from CNET talking about the program.

This is just another person looking to make some money with a frivolous lawsuit.

Re:This is crazy. (5, Insightful)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047351)

If I bought a toothbrush with a non-replaceable battery, I would not be surprised. It's very common.

If I bought a cell phone with a non-replaceable battery, I would be surprised. Most people who use cell phones have had to deal with batteries, either because they've needed to replace them or carry extras for emergency. I don't believe that I've ever seen a cell phone without a replaceable battery...I'm not saying they don't exist, but they must be rare. Being able to read about the lack of a replaceable battery on a website after I'd purchased the device without one wouldn't help me much.

I don't think that this guy has a case if he had a chance to return the iPhone for an iRefund, but iWouldn't be surprised if he couldn't.

God, I hate class-action suit lawyers (5, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046875)

I'm beginning to wonder if the class-action lawsuit isn't a worse abuse of the commons than spam is. All they have to do is find one company with a lot of cash and one customer dumb enough to sue them in exchange for the trivial takings the customers always get from these lawsuits. The lawyers always get their fees in cash, and the customers always get coupons.

I get notified that I'm a party to these about every month of so. Sometimes I even get notified that I've "won" something, like one dollar off my monthly service of Verizon every three months until they've given me $12 (really). Or once, all I got was an apology, along with the satisfaction of knowing that the lawyers got several hundred thousand in fees.

We need the class action lawsuit; it's an important legal tool. But if you've got a better suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

How about this: if you're party to a class action lawsuit, and you choose to opt out and give up your right to sue individually, you get to punch the lawyers once. Not real hard, just a little bit. So an intelligent lawsuit gives you a mild bruising. And this lawsuit ends up with brains splattered all over walls.

Re:God, I hate class-action suit lawyers (1)

polyex (736819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046951)

Make the law firm, the person and the attorneys personally filing the suit automatically have to pay damages equal to the amount they are suing for if they should lose the case.

Re:God, I hate class-action suit lawyers (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047167)

I seriously wonder how many more lawyers than doctors graduate these days, and how much more the average salary between the professions has changed. How else are all those lawyers supposed to get their big 6 figure plus salaries except by lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits? So many people have law school as a back up career plan, as if it was their "safety" college choice. When people see people making easy big money, competition ensues, and intellectual ideas of business methods and processes are copied, such as the "class action law suit".

Re:God, I hate class-action suit lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047355)

Hey, there are a bunch of us who agree and are similarly affected. That gives me an idea....

Joking right? (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046907)

First Off We've know the battery was non-user replaceable back in January.
What kinda moron is this guy?
Secondly WEEKS before the launch the big topic was lack of replaceable battery.
This Guy's case should be thrown out and him fined for wasting the courts time and tax payer monies

Re:Joking right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046975)

Newsflash: Most iphone buyers don't browse slashdot all day. They know what the big products are that are coming out. That's our consumer culture and we're all susceptible to mass marketing that big corporations put millions of dollars into so that we unknowningly develop a familiarity with a product even before we've been consciously exposed to it. You've never bought something without researching every facet of it? Bullshit. And I bet most of your immediate family has, as well.

Class-action lawsuit by Apple shareholders (3, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046941)

IANAL, but perhaps all the shareholders of Apple stock can sue idiots such as this for any possible loss of the price of the stock or expenses of the company (which ever is greater). To the extent that frivolous litigation damages a public company, the shareholders would seem to have just cause for a class-action countersuit.

Two jobs in the US by 2020 (4, Insightful)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046953)

By 2020, there will only be two jobs left in the US.

1. Lawyers
2. IT guys for lawyers.

just think about which you're going to be, and start preparing.

Re:Two jobs in the US by 2020 (5, Insightful)

Cytos (605351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047157)

3. and guys who replace batteries

Re:Two jobs in the US by 2020 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047523)

I was going to correct you

3. and guys who replace batteries on lawyers phones


but then I realised that that's already covered in the grandparent..

2. IT guys for lawyers.

Apple B L O W S (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20046963)

Everything about apple flat out s u c k s

Re:Apple B L O W S (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047199)

So, which is it? Sucks or Blows?????

Re:Apple B L O W S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047529)

Both, alternately. It's really quite nice, given how easily the iPhone will fit into your pants.

IANAL but..... (2, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#20046985)

... I believe that the technical term for this is F*CKING IDIOT!

Re:IANAL but..... (2, Funny)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047445)

But that ignores the fundamental question about him.... which, unfortunately, we're not likely to find out: Will He Blend? [willitblend.com]

Sue Mercedes-Benz too (2, Insightful)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047001)

Replacement hood emblems are really expensive, and it didn't say they would be in the sales pamphlet.

I don't sympathise that much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047041)

Okay, so the guy ended up with a bit of a crappy product. These things happen. But should he be able to sue over everything he doesn't like about it? Couldn't he have considered this when he bought it? And didn't he have any opportunity to actually look at this stuff first?

Nonsence (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047059)

They didn't say the battery was replaceable, so no fraud there. Besides, my 4Gen ipod is still going on its 1st battery, and I've had it since the 4Gens's first came out.

Perhaps apple can counter sue for a frivolous action?

Lionel Hutz (2, Funny)

dotmax (642602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047075)

In an unrelated development, Attorney Lionel Hutz announced a 3.2 Kajillion lawsuit against Apple, arguing that the company did not adequately disclose the fact that their iPhone communicated via radio waves. He said he would amend his complaint later this week to include a complaint against its unnecesary use of "electricity".

"I looked all over the Apple website, and not once did they explain that it used "electricity"". .max

Re:Lionel Hutz (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047289)

It's too bad the Lionel Hutz has been dead for a few years.

legal standing? (1)

boxless (35756) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047083)

IANAL but,
doesn't the guy have to show real harm in order to sue? Assuming his battery doesn't yet need to be replaced, isn't this all just theoretical? Who knows, maybe it never needs to be replaced (not likely, but who knows?).

We could be TAD more objective about this, no? (4, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047169)


Some points, take them for what they are, I don't particularly care today, but still:

1) The case is supposed to be arguing that it WAS difficult to know that the battery was hard wired. No argument needs be made about the present day, the content of Google's current search engine, etc. I for one had no idea. Several technical publications (including /.) thought the fact was headline worthy - aka 'news'. So trying to say that it is impossible that it was news to a zero-day owner is just f'king goofy.

2) Both cell phones and laptops are supposed to have batteries that can be replaced by the end user. There is a reason for this. To suggest that the bastard child of a lappy and a phone is immune from those same reasons is just plain dense.

3) I think the responsibility of proving (to a judge, at least) that this isn't merely another means of vendor lock-in is rests with Apple. They departed from the standard. The 'why' of the matter is crucial. Where are the prototypes that had normal batteries?

Here's hoping...

Not new (1, Informative)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047255)

Consumer devices with non-replaceable batteries have been around for decades.

Decades!

Well what do you expect from a fucktard? (-1, Flamebait)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047275)

If the guy is dumb enough to lock himself into the expensive contract for a piece of Apple cripple-ware then he is most certainly dumb enough to want to sue over the battery.

I don't see why this surprises anyone.

Re:Well what do you expect from a fucktard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047481)

I don't see why this surprises anyone.


I don't see anyone surprised, but you seem to be confused, charcharodon.

Stupid. (0, Offtopic)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047393)

You'd think a company with as good of a reputation as Apple wouldn't make 'bricks' out of their latest offering, being the "green" company that they are^H^H^Hsupposed to be... What a kick in the face to everyone who paid $600 for one of these pieces of junk.

Maybe that explains... (1)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047469)

...why Apples laywers are always so quick to slam down rumors sites and issue cease-and-desist letters and be generally pricky and foul-mannered.

I would be constantly pissed off as well if stupid lawsuits such as this one would land on my desk every time ;-)

Not the first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20047539)

...phone to have a non user replaceable battery. My Ericsson T65 [gsmarena.com] circa 2001 had a couple of lovely hex screws where the battery cover opening should have been.

Did anyone notice (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20047571)

But it looks like he isn't suing the right company. Apple isn't Apple Computers Inc. anymore, just Apple Inc. Makes you wonder what sort of job the rest of the lawsuit is if he can't get his facts straight about the company he is trying to badger money out of.
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