Apple, AT&T sued again over iPhone 3G problems | iLounge News

Apple, AT&T sued again over iPhone 3G problems

Apple and carrier partner AT&T have been sued on the ground that they have knowingly oversold the iPhone 3G, resulting in reduced network performance in places where many iPhone 3Gs are in use at once. The complaint, filed in a San Diego court by iPhone customer William Gillis, relies primarily on various Internet reports from the last two months, which state that initial (pre-software 2.0.2) iPhone 3G network power demands, combined with the “high volume” of iPhone 3G sales, have resulted in reduced 3G speeds and in some cases inability to use the 3G network. The complaint also states that Apple provides no warning of possible issues on the product’s packaging. A disclaimer “points out to them to ask questions, to further investigate, or [for companies] to simply disclose complete and accurate information about the product,” the lawsuit reads. “This is especially true in the case of the speed and performance of an expensive [device]; an important feature in any electronics device purchase.” Gillis is seeking class action status for the suit so that any affected AT&T subscriber in California could receive compensation. The suit calls for both Apple and AT&T to pay restitution as well as punitive damages.

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Not just an issue with AT&T;- O2 in the UK is having problems with the number of iPhones all trying to access their 3G network. They miscalculated the popularity of the 3G iPhone.
To be fair to Apple, if they had perhaps teamed up with a company with better 3G cover this might not have been such a problem. But O2 had to build their 3G service almost from scratch, so poor service looked like a certainty from the word go…

Maybe Apple have covered themselves on their UK TV ads with the caveat “Network performance will vary by location” ...

Posted by Bob Levens on September 3, 2008 at 10:42 AM (CDT)


People, problem lies on the iPhone 3G side.
Here in Poland iPhones suffers from the same problem, while every other 3G phone work without problem.

Posted by Aleksander Himmel on September 3, 2008 at 11:03 AM (CDT)


How can a handset manufacturer be sued for making a product that is selling too many units?  People first complain that the stock is too low and they have to wait in lines to get one, now someone is upset that there are too many people with the device so it is slowing down his phone’s access to the network!  Maybe we should sue all the automobile manufacturers for making too many cars that in turn is leading to too much traffic on the highways and therefore making me late for work! 

This is just ridiculous but shows we need to upgrade the cell phone networks now that they have become so ubiquitous and powerful.

Sure make me glad I have a slow EDGE network iPhone.

Posted by TosaDeac on September 3, 2008 at 12:29 PM (CDT)


Is William Gillis an attorney? I hate that people like this tie up our court system with frivolous lawsuits costing the taxpayer. I hope they counter sue and teach him how stupid this lawsuit is.

Posted by RS on September 3, 2008 at 12:38 PM (CDT)


Umm, RS, wouldn’t counter-suing tie up the court system twice as much.  And be just as stupid?

Posted by mwilgar on September 3, 2008 at 1:08 PM (CDT)


If anything good comes of this, maybe the iPhone would be offered to other companies possibly Verizon? I so wish this to happen but based on my location I will never have the pleasure to own an iPhone unless they get more carriers.

Posted by GaryZero on September 3, 2008 at 1:12 PM (CDT)


Umm, RS, wouldn’t counter-suing tie up the court system twice as much.  And be just as stupid?
Posted by mwilgar on September 3, 2008 at 10:08 AM (PDT)

Yes, I suppose it would though the idea was to make people think twice before filing a silly lawsuit like this. You are likely right!

Posted by RS on September 3, 2008 at 4:12 PM (CDT)


Only in the US you go to court for such a stupid thing, this guy idea is to get money out of this nothing else.
I think he does not understand that the iPhone 3G is such a good device that everybody is surfing the internet because he has a proper web browser and that never before anybody else made anything near.
May be he should sell his iPhone and go back to more trivial phone brands such as Nokia or Blackberry he will not risk anything with them as they will never dear to put in the market such an advance device.


Posted by Patrick on September 3, 2008 at 4:34 PM (CDT)


This is why companies are quiet about issues.  Some ID10T goes to court to try to make some money for nothing.

Companies need to be able to fix issues.  If of course they do nothing, than court is appropriate but all indications are is that Apple is working on the appropriate fixes.

Posted by Joel on September 3, 2008 at 10:13 PM (CDT)


Here in Tokyo Japan, my iphone 3g has great 3g coverage. Anywhere I go it’s perfect and fast. I guess network in the us and uk has to make their 3g coverage better.

Posted by Takumi Kobayashi on September 4, 2008 at 5:56 AM (CDT)


Joel, you noted that “companies need to be able to fix issues” and that “all indications” suggest that Apple is undertaking that effort. I think there’s a fairly strong difference of opinion on both counts.

As to whether Apple has had adequate time to address the problems with the 3G, I will say that yes, a lawsuit filed within two months of the device’s release seems hasty. But in the context of a cell phone’s average lifespan, two or three months of frustration for the user is a fairly significant amount of time. Apple, further, has an obligation to the consumer and by making excessive or altogether inaccurate claims about the performance and reliability of the iPhone, the corporation is putting itself directly in the crosshairs. The first iPhone didn’t have problems of this magnitude by any means, and it was a first-generation device using some relatively innovative technology. The 3G was merely an incremental upgrade, and yet it has been fraught with problems.

Now, to your point about Apple taking the proper corrective measures, I think you would hear plenty of griping about these “bug fix” software updates. First of all, the release notes are vague to the point of being useless. Secondly, many of the complaints about the iPhone’s performance in 2.0 were not sufficiently addressed in 2.0.1 or 2.0.2. Nobody truly knows what these patches are actually doing, and consumers should, according to public policy, have some reasonable indication of what Apple’s fixes are actually doing. There’s a hide-the-ball mentality at Apple these days that many find appalling, and this is even more frustrating to those consumers that have always found Apple’s approach to consumer relations somewhat refreshing.

Which brings me to my final point: sometimes lawsuits aren’t necessarily about REcovery, but about DIScovery. I’m not sure any given plaintiff has delusions of capturing a windfall judgment here, but perhaps piercing the corporate veil of secrecy to get some idea about how Apple arrived at its claims of blazing 3G speeds, or how the company handled or mishandled the in-store activations this time, or how the software updates actually improve performance. If these lawsuits force Apple to be forthcoming with details of their business practices, they are not inherently wasteful.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on September 4, 2008 at 9:57 AM (CDT)


To Poster 10 Hey Takumi, What on earth are you talking about? I also live here in Tokyo Japan and my 3G sucks on my 8gb iPhone. It hardly ever gets more than 2 bars and watching pages appear is like watching paint dry. I also have several other friends who are having very similar experiences. I’m sure you’re not lying or misrepresenting, maybe you are just optimistic and love your iPhone

Posted by Craig Howitt on September 4, 2008 at 1:14 PM (CDT)

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