On the Apple 2.0 site today there is an article that implies the class-action suit filed against Apple for the iPhone may possibly, in some slight way, maybe, just a little bit, have some actual merit. Um, no.
Just so there can be no question about it now, go to the iPhone Tech Specs page and you’ll see this: “Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. See http://www.apple.com/batteries for more information.” This is similar to what the iPod Tech Specs page has said for a long time.
The thrust of the article, then, is presumably when this was clear. I don’t know when the above text became available, or if it was there when the individual in question purchased his iPhone, but I believe it doesn’t matter because it was already known.
The article states:
“The lawsuit claims that this information did not appear in the product’s packaging and never came up in Apple’s promotion or marketing of the device.”
They also didn’t mention they didn’t use faster 3G networking in the iPhone, claiming only that it had EDGE and WiFi. Sue! They didn’t mention there would not be iChat, showing only an iChat-like interface for SMS messages. Sue! They didn’t mention there would be no MMS messages. Sue! They didn’t mention the camera would have no zoom, image stabilization, or video. Sue! And on and on. Based on this ridiculous premise I would like to know just what Apple and the iPhone could not be sued for. Not very much, apparently.
But just what did Apple reveal to the world after the keynote on 1/9/07? What they revealed from the minute the keynote ended was a web site where anybody could see clearly the back of the unit was sealed. Seeing is believing. A picture is worth a thousand words. This should have made it clear to anybody the battery was not user-replaceable. Couple that with the fact the the iPod has had a sealed battery for six years and the iPhone was, according to Steve Jobs, “the best iPod we’ve ever made.” There was nothing devious here.
The article then goes on to state something I consider disingenuous:
“In subsequent press coverage, the news eventually leaked out, perhaps most memorably in John Dvorak’s famous iPhone podcast, in which he quotes an unnamed Cingular (AT&T) executive complaining about the “amateur mistake” Apple made in not having a removable battery. (link)”
This is absolute and utter nonsense. First, the information didn’t have to “leak out” to anyone who went to Apple’s site and saw the sealed case. Implying it did is disingenuous at the very least. But even for those for which a picture wasn’t good enough, the news coming out less than one week after the keynote confirmed the obvious. See here, here, and here for just three examples.
To imply this was somehow a mystery being hidden, and that it had to “leak out” is just ridiculous. I think Apple’s had sealed batteries in the iPod for so long that it’s a wonder to them anyone thought the iPhone would be otherwise. Sure, some “analysts” questioned it, but they still question the iPod’s battery and lack of FM transmitter today; they’re only proof some people like to complain.
Then we get a line apparently scolding Jobs for not listing any potential shortcoming of the iPhone:
“On June 18, Apple issued another press release: … Nothing about battery replacement.”
That’s because it was an article about battery life. All portable devices talk about battery life (if they don’t, then you know their battery life sucks), but they do not dwell on when the battery will have to be replaced. I mean, even a user-replaceable battery eventually dies, and if it did so after only three months wouldn’t you still complain about it even though it’s user replaceable? What really matters far more is how practical it is in day to day usage, which is what the aforementioned press release was all about. Heck, why don’t you just look at every press release coming out of Apple from 1/9/07 to 6/29/07 and blast them because none of them make mention of iPhone “battery replacement?”
The article concludes:
“Does any of this justify a class action lawsuit or entitle Mr. Trujillo, his lawyers and the class of iPhone purchasers to damages? You be the judge.”
OK, as the judge I can state with no hesitation that this case is laughable and should be tossed out. From what I’ve read, the overwhelming majority (thankfully) believe the same, and this article attempting to place it in a different light is just silly.
I honestly don’t know if the article is simply meant to generate a lot of page hits (I’m sure it will, and heaven knows it suckered me in), or simply trying to bend over backwards in an effort to supply “Mac news from outside the reality distortion field.” If the former, then mea culpa, you caught me with your stinky bait. If the latter, well, it’s one thing to be outside the reality distortion field, it’s quite another to be outside reality.
(Photo from of ifixit.com.)