Apple, AT&T face lawsuits over iPhone antenna issue

Companies accused of knowingly selling a defective product.

Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. face a number of lawsuits over reports of reception and signal problems found in the iPhone 4's new wraparound antenna, with consumers accusing both companies of knowingly selling a defective product.

The problem is the latest black eye for Apple and AT&T, which is already battling the perception of an inferior network to its competitors. A number of lawsuits have cropped up over the antenna issue.

"Apple and AT&T knew about these problems prior to the selling the phone," said Daniel Ward, a partner at law firm Ward & Ward PLLC."The phone is inherently flawed."

Click here to find out more!An AT&T spokesman declined to comment. An Apple spokesman said the company doesn't discuss pending litigation.

Ward & Ward and Charles A. Gilman LLC filed a lawsuit Wednesday with the U.S. District Court of Maryland. Two plaintiffs, Kevin McCraffrey and Linda Winn, have been listed, although Ward said there are several more unnamed consumers represented. Ward is seeking class-action status for the case. Bloomberg reported that two other consumers had filed a separate lawsuit in San Francisco over the same issue, and are also seeking class-action status.

The metal wraparound antenna was supposed to be Apple's elegant solution for fixing the reception problems that have long plagued the iPhone. But technology and gadget websites have reported reception problems and a drop in the signal when the left palm covers the lower side of the phone.

Shortly after the phone launched a week ago, Apple issued a statement saying that gripping any phone a certain way would affect the performance of the antenna, and advised people to avoid holding it in the lower left corner.

"I'm calling from an iPhone 4 right now, and I'm holding it like its chop sticks," Ward said.

Apple also advised customers to buy a "bumper case," which the company sells for $29, to protect the antenna band. But customers have argued that the case should be given for free if there is a problem.

Apple declined to comment on whether it would consider providing free cases to affected customers.


I think people can return the iPhone in a month without any fees (except that month's phone bill). So why can't these iDiots just return the phone?