« Mobile HD TV just around the corner? | Main | Broadband in Finland becomes a legal right »

July 1, 2010

First iPhone 4 antenna class action lawsuit? Straight from Maryland

Tech blog Gizmodo is reporting that the first class action lawsuit against Apple and AT&T for the allegedly flawed antenna was recently filed in the US District Court of Maryland.

Kevin McCaffrey, of Nottingham (that's Baltimore County) and Linda Wrinn, of Baltimore, are the two lead plaintiffs in the suit.

As soon as the iPhone 4 debuted last week, consumers started reported weird issues with its apparent reception. When users gripped the phone a certain way, the coverage bars drop, according to complaints heard around the Internet.

(Aside: I own an iPhone 4 and I do notice coverage bars dropping whenever I grip the phone at the bottom, but personally, it hasn't impacted my reception and use of the phone.)

Below is a graphic that illustrates the problem that consumers are reporting. The phone thus far has been a huge seller, but it remains to be seen how long-term sales will be affected by this issue with the antenna.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:59 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: *NEWS*


Maybe Apple will come out with a clear plastic sheath to cover the edge of the phone just like Nintendo did with their Wii controllers. I find it saddening that these people are jumping into a lawsuit so quickly. However, I'm conflicted by my own poor experiences with software that was released buggy. In a perfect world we'd have fully tested and polished products out for sale, but unfortunately that's normally not the case. I don't know...I would have given Apple a bit more time, but if it were Sony instead of Apple I wouldn't be so lenient.

iPhones are awesome devices, but if you have a problem with the current model there are only another 5-10 equally good or better options. Walk your butt back to the AT&T store and say, "Thanks, but no thanks." Don't retain counsel, morons.

Anyhow, check out this article about Jobs and the iPhone and the chain reaction that Job's statement created. Wicked funny and safe for work.

Stupid lawsuit, all cell phones have similar problems if you want to call it a problem with many variables, like location, service provider signal strength, local RF , are your hands sweaty of dry, and on and on and on. I predict that the judge will throw it out unless he or she has been payed off, ya never know.

So these fine upstanding folks are willing to pay ~$200 for a new introduced phone but unwilling to take any risk that it might not suit them perfectly? Yes, this is clearly a matter for a US District Court! By all means, use every last resource available to correct this glaring, egregious defect, which must have caused tremendous undue suffering. I truly hope they get what's coming to them - getting run over by a bus comes to mind...

iPhone's are clearly great products - sales of 8.75 million iphones last quarter indicate that.

But this reception issue is just a recurring issue that is going to hurt their long term sales if they don't fix it.

Apple = released an "upgraded" model of the same device that had an "upgrade" 12 months ago in order to boost sales.

Upgraded device = marketing ploy to sucker more pop culture junkies into spending more money on an identical product to one they already own.

Class Action Lawsuit - just desserts for corporations who peddle repackaged inferior products, whose CEO even achknowledges the defect.

Settlement - the amount of money the smart people will get out of the class action suit since Apple could care less. they're still selling 50 million of these crappy antenna phones!

OK, I hate the iPhone and think is is way over done. I am android fanboy and I think the iPhone is kind of losing its mojo... BUT I do have to say something about how stupid this is. Most mobile carriers (AT&T included) have a 30 day return policy on ALL phones. And as we know the phone hasn't been out that long. So why sue when you can just return it and get something equally good if not better. These are those sue happy people that think they can get a quick buck.

Buy a Nokia Smart Phone: $150 and No contractual strings; open source software; not perfect either but I love my 5230.

Also consider what may well be the only intelligent statement ever made by a Microsoft executive: (somewhat paraphrased) "With the multitude of hardware/software combinations and taking into account human nature, it is impossible to anticipate and test for all of them."
Translation: These are not phones - they are mini computers that happen to make phone calls.

These people obviously simply want their name in the paper. There is a 14 day return policy if you are not satisfied with your purchase. Is this law suit really necessary?

This has nothing to do with the iPhone, products or anything else. Like almost every other class action lawsuit of this nature, it has to do with the lawyers getting a massive payout while the members of the class get valuable consideration like an Apple gift card worth a few dollars.

There is nothing at all wrong with the design of this phone, and this is a blatant attempt to get Apple to settle so that the lawyers can get a large paycheck.

When this gets thrown out of court the law firm should be required to reimburse the court for all of the costs. Unfortunately, there's no penalty for filing idiotic and profiteering law suits like this one.

Are you fanboys kidding yourselves?

You just dropped how much to buy a crappy phone that was engineered with the antenna on the outside?

I would be enraged if that was my hard earned money. Then Jobs has the nerve to say "don't hold your phone that way" & "relax. it's just a phone". What way am I supposed to hold it? Like any normal person does? Please.

As far as restocking after I take it back. They are going to charge me if they take back their broken product?

Customer service, and PR... Steve Jobs is needing to take that class over.

People always have things to complain about. Being an engineer, I know that cell phone reception can be very touchy at times. Hand position is a huge thing. In fact, I did a study comparing the WiFi range of popular smartphones in a vertical and horizontal position. When held horizontally, WiFi range was cut in half. Pretty crazy!

Thanks for the article.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Sign up for FREE business alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Business text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Charm City Current
Stay connected