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31 July, 2007

Americans' suing culture

Well, I have been threatened a number of times by a former SillyDog701 member, Ronnie Williams II. Mr Williams also issued a groundless accusation claiming that I attacked his HOLYCOW website.

It seems to me, Americans like to sue big companies, for the sack of (possibly) becoming a millionaire. Here's an interesting groundless one against Apple's iPhone. Cnet News.com has the story. Jose Trujillo's lawyer said iPhone's battery will die after 300 charges. It is simply not the case. Apple stated the lithium-ion battery that ships with the iPhone would start to lose capacity after 300 to 400 full charge cycles (one charge cycle is a complete drain of the battery, followed by a full charge).

Worst lawsuit ever (by Tom Krazit, Cnet News.com)

Worst lawsuit ever
Posted by Tom Krazit

You'd think that lawyers would be trained in the art of correctly interpreting the fine print.

Larry Drury, an Illinois lawyer, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of iPhone owner Jose Trujillo that claims Apple defrauded his client by failing to reveal that the iPhone battery was not user-replaceable, and that it would die after 300 charges. (Thanks, Gizmodo.)

"This case arises out of Defendants' purposeful and fraudulent concealment to purchasers of its iPhone cellular telephone that they will be required to incur an annual fee of $85.95 as part of Defendants' battery replacement program," Drury or someone at his firm wrote in the introduction to the complaint.

Sounds sinister, but it's simply not true. Yes, like the iPod, the iPhone battery is not user-replaceable, and yes, you'll have to send it back to Apple at the cost of $85.95 to get a new one. But the principal claim in the suit, "that the iPhone battery has a durability and/or lifetime of approximately 300 charges, necessitating frequent and more than annual maintenance, repair, and/or replacement if charged regularly on a daily basis," just doesn't fly.

When the iPhone arrived, Apple said the lithium-ion battery that ships with the iPhone would start to lose capacity after 300 to 400 charges. (UPDATED 4:10pm - It's after 300 to 400 full charge cycles. A complete drain of the battery, followed by a full charge, equals one charge cycle.) That's "start to lose capacity," not "roll over and die." Apple's Web site currently says, "A properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 400 full charge and discharge cycles." On that page, Apple describes proper maintenance as "at least one charge cycle per month."

And the one-year warranty that comes with the iPhone entitles you to a free replacement battery if it drops below 50 percent capacity during the duration of the warranty. You can extend that warranty to two years for $69.

This, unfortunately, is what all lithium-ion batteries do: gradually lose their charging capacity over time. Having to send the iPhone to Apple for battery replacement is certainly inconvenient, but Trujillo could have returned his iPhone had he failed to realize that the iPhone's battery was just like the iPod's. Still, the plaintiffs probably had the successful iPod battery lawsuit in mind when they filed their complaint, hoping to force Apple into a settlement.

I called Drury to see if he knew his complaint contained incorrect information, and I haven't received a response as of yet. Good luck with the suit, gentlemen.

Posted by Antony on 31 July 2007 12:13 PM | all things Mac
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