HiPhone, HiPhone, it’s Off to Court we Go…Well, all you iPhone enthusiasts are clearly disappointed with the new iPhone 4 and its apparent lack of receptivity—would that be an appropriate term to describe an alleged antenna design flaw?
Let’s get to the point. Apple and AT&T got hit with a class action lawsuit filing this week, “seeking relief for consumers who purchased iPhone 4 cellular phones.”
To be blunt, the only way you could not know about the iPhone 4 antenna problem is if you live on another planet—or in a cave in some remote corner of the world that is not part of AT&T’s network. No doubt all you diehard Blackberry fans must be lovin it!
According to the complaint, the new iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million in its first week of sales, a figure that reportedly comes from Apple. That’s a loyal fan base. And woe betide you if you piss them off.
Here’s the skinny—”the phone retails for $199.00 for the 16GB model or $299.00 for the 32GB model with a 2-year contract (or $599.00 16GB / $699.00 32GB without a contract). Users pay a $36 activation fee plus a mandatory minimum $15 monthly data plan over and above their standard monthly plan and usage fees.”
Problem is—the reception on the new iPhone does not live up to the hype—so fans are paying for service they’re not really getting.
“The new design features a metal antenna encircling the entire outside edge of the phone that, when touched with one’s hand, limits the phone’s ability to send and receive data and phone calls.” That was smart. Not. Did they test this device before they went into production? There’s a rumor Apple knew….
Anyway, the complaint goes on…”The only solutions that have been offered by Apple to date have been to sell rubber cases which Apple manufactures and which retail for $29 each, and to instruct users that they are holding the phone incorrectly. In other words, iPhone 4 users must either hold their phone in awkward manner or pay more money on top of the premium paid for the iPhone 4 in order to have a functional phone.” Not a chance in hell that’s going to happen. So—hi ho, hi ho—it’s off to court they go…
Look Who’s Back… In other Technology related news, Spokeo.com is also facing a class action—for allegedly publishing false and misleading personal information about millions of people without appropriate notice or consent. If you recall, this isn’t new news–as we posted about Spokeo back in May.
This is actually quite scary: “The lawsuit alleges that Spokeo aggregates data from many online and offline sources—some known and many unknown—and publishes the data online, in violation of the federal Fair Credit and Reporting Act. Spokeo allows Internet users to search for anyone by name, email address, or phone number. According to the complaint, Spokeo provides searchers with in-depth consumer reports, including that person’s address, marital status, age, occupation, wealth level, and a credit/economic health estimate. The suit further alleges that Spokeo makes much of this information available for free, but reserves the most detailed and personal information for paid subscribers.” Ok, we are not talking telephone numbers here.
Apparently, Spokeo has marketed its paid subscriptions to employers, law enforcement agencies, and persons performing background checks. Whatever happened to asking for references?
So Big it Ranks in the Top 10. This is big—financially—AIG is going to pony up $725 million to settle allegations of bid-rigging and an assortment of other financial nastiness, that I suppose we should be used to reading about by now.
The class action was brought on behalf of public pension funds for folks like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, and Ohio Policy and Fire Pension Fund. A group of Florida pension funds also joined the suit.
The settlement is reportedly the 10th largest in a securities class action in US history. That’s some achievement. Just think what they could have done with the money if they’d played by the rules…
Seroquel Settlement. In pharma news this week—AstraZeneca, makers of the antipsychotic medication Seroquel, have agreed to pay $2 million to settle over 200 cases alleging the medicine causes diabetes. The settlement could mean an average payment per case of $10,000.
The settlement resulted from a US-court ordered mediation involving some 26,000 cases filed in the UK against the London-based pharmaceutical company. I expect we’ll be reading about further Seroquel settlements in the months to come.
Ok. That’s it for this week. I hear the bar calling my name—the beach bar that is…tiki torches and all (oh, maybe not—those Atico bamboo torches were just recalled, now weren’t they…for risk of laceration…model numbers A26I0683, A26I0037 and A26I0943…)