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Apple Sued Over iPhone Non-Replaceable Batteries 574

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the overly-litigious dept.
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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Apple Sued Over iPhone Non-Replaceable Batteries

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:21PM (#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 oth
    • by bestinshow (985111) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:38PM (#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?
    • Standing? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JohnnySonic (678685)
      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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by alcmaeon (684971) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:41PM (#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.

    • by NetDanzr (619387) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:46PM (#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.

      • by hondo77 (324058)
        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.

      • Uh, no (Score:3, Informative)

        by theurge14 (820596)
        Uh, no. The Apple website quite clearly states that iTunes is used to activate the phone:

        Here [apple.com]
        Here and [apple.com]
        Here and also [apple.com]
        Here [apple.com]

        And Apple quite clearly states that it is for use with Mac and Windows:

        Here and [apple.com]
        Here [apple.com]

        That only required about 30-45 seconds of clicking links.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by NetDanzr (619387)
          My results:
          • iPhone main page - No activation info, but a very visible link to an "Activation and Sync" video.
          • Activation and Sync - "This page requires the Quicktime plugin." Back to main page.
          • Questions and Answers - I guess this is Apple talk for "FAQ". Oh, here's something: Will iPhone work with my PC and Microsoft Windows? Yes. iPhone works with Windows XP Home or Professional (SP2), and Windows Vista. See specifications for more details." This does not suggest a requirement.
          • Specifications - App
    • by blhack (921171) *

      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

    • by Jekler (626699) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:56PM (#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.

      • by Altus (1034) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:11PM (#20047521) Homepage

        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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Doctor_Jest (688315) *
        Just as an FYI, the Samsung Upstage does not have a user-replaceable battery... and nowhere on Sprint or Samsung's site (that I've seen) lists that as a "feature" either. It's not on the "sheet" you see next to the phone (I know, I've looked) and it's not on the box it comes in. It seems that you don't need to love the iPod to ask a simple question. Samsung and Apple must be in cahoots! :)

        Yet people buy it (and the iPhone)... The only way you know it's not replaceable is to read the FAQ in the manual (at
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Threni (635302)
          > Just as an FYI, the Samsung Upstage does not have a user-replaceable battery...

          I've never heard of a "Samsung Upstage" but I imagine that you must have looked pretty hard (or been unlucky) to have discovered another phone with a soldered-in battery. I've never heard of it in over 12 years of owning and reading about mobile phones.

          > The only way you know it's not replaceable is to read the FAQ in the manual (at the back of the manual).. unless you know someone who has one, or
          > you ask the clerk "
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tlhIngan (30335)

            I've never heard of a "Samsung Upstage" but I imagine that you must have looked pretty hard (or been unlucky) to have discovered another phone with a soldered-in battery. I've never heard of it in over 12 years of owning and reading about mobile phones.

            Well, it's not a 12 year old phone. It's at most a few months old (released April). It's sold by Sprint, and you've probably seen it (though you've probably not heard its name) if you're in the US. It's the phone where one side is a phone with the keypad and

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by presearch (214913) *
            It's a good thing that you missed the switch to touch-tone phones and unleaded gas.
            It would have done you in.

            * fear change!!! *
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Doctor_Jest (688315) *
            The point of the Upstage is that I _didn't_ have to look hard to find another phone with a non-user replaceable battery. That's not the only one.

            Let me ask you this.. would you buy a car without first knowing some basics about it? What makes someone not ask if it's now "electronic"? It's a device, just like a car... if you don't ask, they're not going to tell you everything.... they assume you either already know or don't care. The user manual is available, as is the spec sheet. If you don't see it lis
    • Additionally, asking any Apple retail store, customer service representative, dealer, authorized service provider, etc., will yield a direct and immediate answer about battery replacement.

      Yeah, that's always the very first thing I think to ask about in a market where every other competing product had an easily replaceable battery.

      And besides, why should you ever need to replace the battery? It's not like it might run down, and you'd want to swap in a fresh one until you can get to a charging outlet and

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:18PM (#20047647) Homepage Journal
      1. I don't like that the user can not replace the battery in the IPhone.
      2. I am not all that happy with the price of the IPhone.
      3. I am not happy with the limited choice of carriers for the IPhone.
      4. I am not happy with the lack of an SDK for the IPhone.
      The solution?
      I don't own an IPhone.

      Last time I checked I did not have a God or Government given right to own exactly the IPhone I want.

      Good freaking grief.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Monday July 30, 2007 @04:23PM (#20048831) Journal
        1. I don't like that the user can not replace the battery in the IPhone. ...
        The solution?
        I don't own an IPhone.


        Good thing you knew about that before you went to buy one, right?

        Last time I checked I did not have a God or Government given right to own exactly the IPhone I want.

        No, but you do have a right to be treated fairly and at least warned before being sold a crippled device.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192)
      Additionally, asking any Apple retail store, customer service representative, dealer, authorized service provider, etc., will yield a direct and immediate answer about battery replacement.

      You have to know enough to ask. Any reasonable person will assume that a portable electronic device will have replaceable batteries. I've never bought one that didn't. If I did by accident, I'd return it as defective. If they didn't take it, then yeah a lawsuit is pretty reasonable. Apple may have had a good technical r
  • Oh, FFS... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:23PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by goober1473 (714415)
      I half expected number three to be "profit".
    • 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.
    • 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.

  • 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.
  • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:25PM (#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.
    • 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
  • seems premature (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seanadams.com (463190) * on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:28PM (#20046783) Homepage
    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.
    • by Error27 (100234)
      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.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:32PM (#20046829) Journal
    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?
         
    • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apt142 (574425)
        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.
    • I say Apple should just give him free battery replacements until he's done with his phone.

      Loaner extra.
  • This is crazy. (Score:4, Informative)

    by scifience (674659) <webmaster@scifience.net> on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:33PM (#20046847) Homepage
    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. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slackmaster2000 (820067) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:02PM (#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.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:34PM (#20046875) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:39PM (#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.
  • by gsfprez (27403) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:40PM (#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.
  • by rueger (210566) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:42PM (#20046985) Homepage
    ... I believe that the technical term for this is F*CKING IDIOT!
  • by athloi (1075845) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:43PM (#20047001) Homepage Journal
    Replacement hood emblems are really expensive, and it didn't say they would be in the sales pamphlet.
  • Nonsence (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695)
    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 (Score:2, Funny)

    by dotmax (642602)
    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
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:52PM (#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...
    • by thefinite (563510) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:29PM (#20047855)
      "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."

      This, actually, is immaterial to the suit. Why Apple sealed the battery inside shouldn't affect the judgment. The issue is whether or not the sealed battery violates some sort of contractual or warranty obligation that Apple has when it sells iPhones. The only way the Plaintiff(s) can get away with a claim like this is to prove that they didn't know about the battery issue before they bought the phone, *and* that it was reasonable for them to understand differently. As a contract claim, they also have to show that the actual battery replacement program is not sufficient based on their previous claims.

      The biggest problem for the Plaintiff(s)--Trujillo and any others that join the class--is that courts generally place a heavy burden on buyers to educate themselves about a good or service before they purchase. I think that it's pretty plain that the information about the battery was widely available. Heck, all he had to do was ask the salesperson.

      Speaking as an attorney, my suspicion is that either a greedy plaintiff or greedy attorney decided to get in the door first on what they saw to be a potentially huge issue. (Getting in the claim first is very important for class action attorneys because once a class action is settled, future claims on the same issue are barred. Being the name plaintiff in a class action is also important because you usually get more than the rest of the class.) I also think that Apple would be crazy to settle this. There will be multiple opportunities for Apple to ask the court to dismiss the suit or rule in their favor in summary judgment, meaning the cost of defending it wouldn't be too egregious. If they settle this, it sends a strong message that they are willing to roll over in the face of weak claims. All kinds of crazy claims would pop up. The plaintiff(s)'s attorneys have to spend time and money pursuing this with the risk that they will get nothing. They won't stay in too long as they come to realize that it's a plainly frivolous claim.

      I really hate it when I see people using the legal system to extort money rather than to get what they actually have a right to under the law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      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.

      Caveat Emptor. If the user did not do any research before buying a $500+ phone, that is his

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drhamad (868567)
      Just to hop on thefinite's previous reply to this post, since he did such a good job, I'd like to comment on these: 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 owne
  • Not new (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sir Holo (531007) *
    Consumer devices with non-replaceable batteries have been around for decades.

    Decades!
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:52PM (#20048255) Homepage Journal
    On average Americans change their phones every 18 months. I can tell you that in all the years I or my family have owned cell phones I've replaced exactly one battery. What torques me is the OBSCENE cost of replacement batteries. For the money you might as well replace the phone.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:08PM (#20050671) Homepage
    If I was stupid enough to buy a first-release iPhone (even if I wanted one, I'm smarter than to get the first-release version) I would have returned it the moment I found that batteries were not user-replaceable. Phones tend to be critical communications devices. You don't want them going out at inopportune times.

    iPods are almost never "critical music playing devices" are just nice to have. Phones are, for many, quite necessary. If you cannot keep your phone charged, the alternative is to have a spare battery. I keep a spare battery in my laptop bag for just such a situation as I know many other people do this as well. (I also keep a spare laptop battery for similar reasons.)

    As an entertainment device, it's sort of acceptable that the battery should not be user replaceable. But a phone??

    I have to say that the lawsuit isn't warranted, but a refund is.
  • by yusing (216625) on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:27PM (#20050815) Journal
    I loathe and lament the whole decades-long trend of hyperexpensive proprietary everything, including batteries. Was it RS's "Trash-80" that started the "cheap-basics, sockem' on accesssories" trend? Only, now, even expensive stuff is playing this stupid game.

    $175 laptop batteries that consist of 6 AA cells wired together? Appalling.

    There used to be 4 or 5 batteries that powered everything electronic. The fundamental character of electronics hasn't changed. (Alas, battery technology hasn't changed much either.) Yeah, I know, bitch on grandpa. Well ok, kiddies, but you're the ones that are $100,000 in debt on average. Yeah, I know, standardized parts are "too socialist for America." Ha, take that.

    Stop buying the crap. My TV remote takes an AA. Any AA. If your phone-du-jour doesn't, tough bounce. Demand better. Every dollar is a vote.

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