3 iPhone Class Action Lawsuits Filed In The Past Week

The number of people gunning for some Apple/AT&T cash keeps increasing, with three new class action lawsuits filed over the past 8 days alone. In all three suits, the primary complaint is the same: that AT&T Mobility’s 3G network isn’t robust enough to deliver the type of experience promised by iPhone marketing.

From the suit filed in Texas:

Due to the overloaded 3G network, it is quite common for iPhone users to only be on the 3G network for a few minutes before being bumped to the slower EDGE network despite being in geographical areas allegedly rich with 3G network coverage.

In addition to 3G complaints, two of the suits state that the iPhone hardware is prone to early wear-and-tear, and the third suit alleges that Apple’s firmware updates haven’t solved usability problems as promised.

You iPhone owners out there—is 3G still a problem? The last we heard, AT&T was (allegedly) yanking power from the EDGE network and turning its back on old-school data users like me in order to bulk up the 3G access.

“More iPhone lawsuits claim high-profile gadget ‘cannot adequately perform’” [RCR Wireless]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. meske says:

    From these types of lawsuits, iPhone owners seem to be a picky bunch… very high maintenance…

    • howman says:

      @meske: Uhhhh hello…. Apple customers….

    • wgrune says:

      @meske:

      Call me crazy, but I dont consider “getting what you are paying for” being picky. I should note I do not have an iPhone.

      • meske says:

        @wgrune: Network is never guaranteed, just like broadband at home.

        And the other two suits, “wear and tear” and “usability” are all relative. If you don’t like the phone, AT&T has a return policy. A software manufacturer can never be held accountable for a non-existent or unreleased usability patch.

    • narq says:

      @meske: Too bad there isn’t an app for that.

      Wear and tear is not their responsibility. Network availability and speed is not their responsibility. Apple promises, they don’t have to live up to them as long as they claim they are trying.

      • dialing_wand says:

        @narq: I’m a happy iPhone user. 3G in Montreal and Toronto has been more than acceptable… so much so I rarely switch on WiFi outside of my office or home.

        It’s a phone. It works well. Best I’ve owned. Compared to the $260 piece of junk Nokia (fair warning, purchased unlocked at Nokia’s NYC Flagship store) 6300 I bought last (after being a staunch Nokia supporter for years), the $199 iPhone 3G (three year contract), was an acceptable pricepoint for a product I’ve enjoyed using and has been relatively trouble free.

        I think 3G network-related complaints should fall to the carrier first. There’s often a big difference between what phone hardware can do (in many cases other than the stupid iPhone) and what carriers let it do. That’s not to say, however, that Apple didn’t stretch the truth to new, irresponsible heights. For that, they should take some of the blame.

        These are all issues with companies who, last time I checked, were out to make more than a few bucks. I do wish people would stop imagining them as benevolent forces for good. You don’t buy things for that.

        • OprahBabb says:

          @dialing_wand: I was an original iPhone user from around August of the launch year up until recently (Xmas) when I upgraded to 3G.

          Austin, TX – I have had minimal problems with Edge the first year (other than being frustratingly slow – but this was expected as 3G technology was already available). When I upgraded to 3G, the first month was great: speeds were fine, I used it all the time, no problem with dropping connections, beautiful.

          Over the past two weeks, connection issues started to pop up, then over the past TWO days I haven’t been able to connect at all during certain points during the day.

          I kept getting a message stating “You need to be connected to a cellular network …blah blah blah” WTF? There are TWO [networks to choose from] and AT&T is IN fucking Texas…Thumbs up AT&T. Mean it.

    • the_gank says:

      @meske: I guess that “2007 Time Invention of the Year” award comes at a huge price tag.. pony up all those bragging high sales benjamins….please…

      And the fanbois (every time I see one holding an iPhone) holds it like it’s the HOLY device….like it’s the best thing since French Fries and Triple Cheese Burger…and the damn thing can’t even copy/paste or multi-task w/o crawling the hidden closets on the net for help…

  2. plyhard13 says:

    I do seem to bounce around a bit between 3G and EDGE every once in a while but it’s really no big deal. I don’t notice ANY “wear and tear”. I am notoriously tough on phones but my iPhone seems to be a tank. Not a scratch anywhere…after about 6 months of constant use…and a few drops. This is after having a RAZR that was loaded with scratches, internal dust and missing paint after a few months.

    Greedy people are greedy.

    • the dodo, the cuckoo, and the nene says:

      @plyhard13: Me too. My iphone is probably the sturdiest phone I’ve ever had. I get 3G pretty consistently where I live. Sometimes it drops to Edge, but that’s mostly when I’m inside certain buildings.
      I also had a Razr in the past…it was very prone to scratching, even with a case.

      • valthun says:

        @the dodo, the cuckoo, and the nene: I am in the same camp here, I went from razr to iphone. I mean i got the screen cover the day of purchase and just got a case, mostly to make mine distinctive from my roomates. At home i am on wifi, and i don’t really notice or care too much when i switch from edge or 3g. Mostly i am browsing a page that has already loaded, so the switch doesn’t make a difference.

    • thisotherguy says:

      @Above commenters:
      What the hell are you doing with your Razrs?

      I’ve had mine for close to 4 years now, have never used a case and it hardly has a scratch on it.

      • edicius is an acquired taste says:

        @thisotherguy: Yeah, that puzzles me. I’ve owned the RAZR, KRZR and now the ROKR and none of them have received that kind of damage – and I’m rough on my phones.

        I’m particular surprised, considering that all three people I’ve known with iPhones had ended up with theirs broken in some way, shape or form within a few months of having bought them. Thankfully, two of them had already bought second phones (both from Verizon) to be able to make calls, as their iPhones weren’t cutting it for their primary purpose – making/receiving phone calls.

        • plyhard13 says:

          @edicius: Second point first…Are you saying two people decided to take on a second huge phone bill so they could use CDMA service versus the GSM service at ATT? Or, are you saying they canceled their ATT contracts, paid the ETF and switched to Verizon? Not arguing…legit question.

          First point…I had the black RAZR which is painted black. I don’t care how gingerly you treat your phone, the paint is going to wear away due to the friction of your hand holding it (or a case rubbing against it. I also kept my phone in my pocket (as I do with the iPhone) which caused the internal dust accumulation and scratches. After six months of riding in my pocket, the only scratches on my iPhone are on the silvery colored Apple logo on the back.

      • pigbearpug says:

        @thisotherguy: Kind of strange, I am another person who went from the razr to the iphone and I have to say, my razr sucked in comparison. It might have been because the small screen on front broke and I had to replace it, but there was dust inside, the screen wasn’t bright enough in sunlight, the battery sucked…

        It bothered me when I had it, but now that I have a different phone, I don’t understand how you can live without the ability to have vibrate and the ringer on simultaneously, and how it KEEPS FUCKING BEEPING when the battery is low!

    • Anthony Bradford says:

      I haven’t had any problems with my iphone. I don’t keep it in a case and have dropped it out of my pocket twice. No scratches or damage. The second update made my phone backup very slow and hasn’t been helped by the latest update, but what do you expect when you download apps from all these different sources. I do hope Apple comes up with a solution soon though to the slow backup. I wouldn’t sue them over it.

  3. TheRedSeven says:

    @meske: Spend $200+ on a premium electronics gadget, and you’d expect it to live up to the hype. Which, after all, is mostly what Apple sells*. When you cater to the upper echelon of consumers, you have to be prepared for their pickiness; if you’re going to go for the ‘discerning buyer,’ you better have a product that delivers as advertised.

    (*Apple Fanbois out there–don’t get me wrong. I think Apple puts out some darn fine products. I also think they have an excellent marketing team that does a great job of generating hype beyond the actual usefulness of their products.)

  4. acousticdank says:

    I never felt the 3G iPhone was supposed to always be on the 3G network. I just thought it was named 3G to differentiate the new models with the older phones that weren’t 3G capable.

  5. mefinney says:

    I work in an area that is very dense with commercial activity. During working hours the local tower cripples under the weight of all the 3G users. I am frequently booted off of calls and relegated to EDGE access.

    • suzieq says:

      @mefinney: Now, when you say “cripples,” does that mean you have problems downloading data? Because the most frustrating thing for me is to have all bars, but then not be able to download anything.

      I commute to and from Chicago on Metra every day. Going in to the city at 6:00am, I get great download speeds on both my iPhone and my 3G wireless card for my laptop.

      Going home while waiting at Ogilvie Station, I have a strong signal but download speeds are very slow on the iPhone. I can’t get *anything* to download on the laptop. The only thing I can think of is that there are so many people waiting for their trains browsing on the 3G network that it causes very little data to get through teh tubes.

    • scootinger says:

      @mefinney: Probably all those kids with their text messaging. Because at $0.20 a message, it has to use a lot of data, ya know?

  6. smythe says:

    I live in the Cincinnati area and have absolutely no problems with my 3G…
    I am however finding what looks like dead pixels on my screen but is actually very little nicks, dispite having a case and a screen protector since day one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have an iPhone 3G here in the Phoenix, AZ area and it works great. I rarely if ever have problems. Sure 3G is slower than wifi but I don’t expect great speeds. I at least have web and email access on a nice device. I have no issues with wear and tear either. I think some people are just babies or don’t understand technology.

  8. IT-Chick says:

    “You iPhone owners out there-is 3G still a problem? The last we heard, AT&T was (allegedly) yanking power from the EDGE network and turning its back on old-school data users like me in order to bulk up the 3G access.”

    I just had a meeting with my AT&T rep last week who told me that they were not going to spend money on 2G. They are currently adding new 3G towers. I have a BB Bold on AT&T and have no issues with it at all. Yet a few miles away I have a user who we have to switch to Verizon for the same reason as the article, moving her to a 3G phone didn’t resolve the crappy service, so who knows. Maybe we can file a lawsuit?

    • Alex Duzik says:

      @IT-Chick: that just seems like good sense. EDGE is an aging technology which is being displaced by 3G. It seems only natural that 3G should get the prime spot on the spectrum, too, as AT&T moves away from EDGE.

      • compuguy1088 says:

        @Alex Duzik: Just because edge is an aging technology, doesn’t mean that there arn’t plenty of GSM based phones still in use. There are far more GSM phones used than ones that support 3G (correct me if I’m wrong).

        • stopNgoBeau says:

          @compuguy1088: I’ll correct ya! EDGE and GSM are not exclusive. EDGE on the ATT network is utilized by many devices, not just GSM phones. The iPhone 3G is also GSM, but it uses 3G instead of EDGE for its data transmission.

          I do agree with you though. I have lots of devices in the field that use non-GSM EDGE that will have to be replaced when the EDGE is dropped from those areas. However, instead of upgrading them to 3G, we’re just going to extend the fiber network we have along those routes to incorporate these network devices.

    • pozican says:

      @IT-Chick:

      May be a nitpick, but edge is 2.5G, not 2G

  9. mad3air says:

    I have the original iPhone so, no I don’t have 3G problems :)

  10. Yossarian says:

    My iPhone doesn’t have a case or screen protector and it has held up as well or better than I could have expected.

    3G around here doesn’t seem to be markedly faster than when I fall back to EDGE.

  11. squatchie44 says:

    Good for those users taking the company to task for consistently failing to fulfill what the advertising promises.

  12. saintpetepaul says:

    My 3G is without a doubt the best piece of electronic equipment I’ve ever owned. Would that everything else worked so well. In my area, I haven’t had any problems with getting booted off of the 3G network although AT&T has its occasional problems in providing the phone part of its service.

  13. silver-spork says:

    I don’t get much of the promised 3G coverage here in Delaware, but EDGE isn’t that much slower.

    The phone itself is holding up well after five months – no screen scratches or display problems.

  14. kaptainkk says:

    God I hate the iPhone hype. I just want to smack some sense into iPhone fanboy sitting at a restaurant/bar all by himself and then pulls out his iPhone and plays with it while waiting for that imaginary person that never shows up. You know the kind of guy I’m talking about. These law suits are definitely warranted and I hope Apple and AT&T lose because they didn’t devote enough time and money into R&D before making these broad claims. Their priority was to get these units out the door fast and worry about technical issues later.

    • Christopher Carey says:

      @kaptainkk: LOUD NOISES! You must not use your phone or use a smart phone. I damn you to 6 months of Windows Mobile. Also the one thing about that guy waiting…He is actually using his phone for something, like writing this, while he wonders what the axe murderer stares are for.

    • RogueSophist says:

      @kaptainkk: Yeah, dude, relax. Part of the reason I want a smartphone is so I can have things to do while I sit around. As far as I’ve heard, you can do a TON of stuff with an iPhone while you sit around. How does this offend you?

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      @kaptainkk: Were you beaten with an Apple keyboard as a child or something? WTF do you care what someone else does while waiting around at the restaurant or whatever?

    • pigbearpug says:

      @kaptainkk: Seriously, what’s your deal? How do know “these lawsuits are ‘definitely’ warranted” if you don’t even have an iphone? I think you need to get laid. What the double F is a fanboy anyays? Is it like a funboy?

  15. Chris Torres says:

    I dropped my iPhone down a flight of concrete stairs once and I was surprised there was absolutely no damage to it.

    But then again, my phone sports a sturdy case and protective screen…but still!

  16. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    While I don’t have an iPhone, I do have an ATT 3G-capable smartphone. I bought it knowing that my own area is still on the EDGE system. On the few occasions I’ve been out of town and on 3G, it was markedly more speedy than my hometown EDGE service. I’m hoping that the rise of the iPhone will mean that the 3G network will grow to my area!

    • RandaPanda says:

      @Cogito Ergo Bibo: I’m with you on this one. I also have a 3G capable phone, but live in an EDGE world. It’s somewhat frustrating to know that my city houses an AT&T call center, but we can’t even get decent 3G in this area. Closest places for 3G for me? Springfield, MO, Bentonville AR, and Tulsa OK. Kinda sad, in my opinion. What’s up with that AT&T?

    • Shadowfire says:

      @Cogito Ergo Bibo: Same here. We live in Vermont, where we just recently got AT&T service. They sure as hell haven’t put up any 3G towers yet, but it’s only been about 3 weeks.

      That said, EDGE is normally fine. I’d love to have some 3G access, though. At the least, if this suit helps bring about more towers, I’d be happy. ;)

      • Sir Winston Thriller says:

        @Shadowfire: I was told at the AT&T store in Essex Junction that 2-3 years until they had 3G coverage in Vermont. Wasn’t impressed with EDGE speed at the store, so we stayed with Verizon.

        • Shadowfire says:

          @Sir Winston Thriller: Honestly, we came to AT&T as former Unicel customers. We were pissed at the way Verizon was treating us (they instructed stores in New Hampshire to not answer any questions from Vermont customers, and basically just forced the stores to treat us like dirt), and since Sprint’s coverage was terrible, it was off to AT&T.

          Interesting, you mention Essex Jct, by the way… I graduated from Essex High back in 96. ;)

  17. Lin. Jose says:

    Love my iPhone 3G and never have any problems with getting kicked off the 3G network to the Edge network. I’m in the Tampa/Clearwater, FL area.

    However, AT&T customer service is still crappy, but we all know that anyway. Can I bill them for the time I’ve spent on the phone with them?

  18. sleze69 says:

    AT&T should be sued for not allowing the manual selection of towers (so you can choose 3g or edge) like EVERY OTHER GSM CARRIER IN THE WORLD allows.

    • Lin. Jose says:

      @sleze69: The lady who sold me my iPhone put me under the impression that I can manually switch back to the Edge network so that my battery won’t die as quickly. But I haven’t had any issues with battery life…and for the life of me I cant recall how to switch to Edge manually on my phone. I’ll have to ask when I go back to the store on Saturday to dispute my bill, …..again.

    • Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

      @sleze69: @Lin. Jose: As Lin. Jose says, with my phone, choice of network is an option on my phone (a smartphone with 3G capability, though not an iPhone). It may simply be that ATT sells some phones which do allow for manual selection of 3G or Edge, while others of their phones do not.

    • pozican says:

      @sleze69:

      You can disable 3g by going to settings -> general -> network -> “enable 3g” off

      3g battery issue was solved via firmware a while back.

  19. Donathius says:

    My iPhone 3G has been great. I’ve been carrying it around in my pants pocket for the better part of six months and it looks nearly new. The metal edge around the screen has a few scratches at the corners, and I’ve got one stuck pixel, but it works great. I live in Utah County (about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City) and 3G service here has been great. I’ve had it drop down to Edge a few times, but It’s never been an issue. 99% of the time I need it, it’s running on 3G and it’s nearly as fast as it is on the wireless network at the University where I work.

  20. davere says:

    I still have my original iPhone which will turn 2 this summer and it’s still working great.

    My partner has the 3G iPhone and he does lose 3G connectivity for no reason whatsoever at random times and gets bumped to EDGE.

  21. triscuitbiscuit says:

    On Super Bowl sunday, I was unable to get internet access at all… I found that really weird (on my iphone 3g)…
    Also, my connection is normally excruciatingly slow despite it being in “3G”

  22. highmodulus says:

    No issues with mine; I am a bit scared of AT&T though. But if I can survive Sprint for 3 years. . .

  23. Nodren says:

    Maybee its my area, but in Central California AT&T has great coverage. I constantly hear people complain about AT&T’s coverage(online) but anyone i see regularly and speak to cant say enough about AT&T, around here Verizon is the butt of all bad coverage jokes.

    As far as my iPhone 3G coverage, using services like PDANet i’ve downloaded items on my laptop at a very steady 100kbps during peak hours too. so i couldn’t be happier, i havn’t had my iPhone for a long time so i dont know if this was an issue 4-6 months ago though. however service in general through at&t has been solid for years around here

  24. zlionsfan says:

    Well, it sure seems like they’re cranking down EDGE. I keep having problems getting data.

    Even without stories like this, screwing me on my current contract is hardly going to get me to “upgrade” for my next phone. I mean, it’s not like I could start dropping my payment by $1 or $2 every month.

    and there’s still no keyboard.

    • plyhard13 says:

      @zlionsfan: There’s still no keyboard? Damn, I thought a firmware fix would have added a bunch of physical keys by now. *rolls eyes* Did you buy the iPhone thinking they would build you an attachable physical keyboard?

      This is a discussion about build quality and 3G reception, please stick to that.

  25. Danny Champlin says:

    I’ve never had such problems with my iPhone’s 3G connection.

  26. Quickness says:

    With SBSettings, I usually have all the services off except EDGE. This saves me a ton of battery but when I need 3G, I just turn it on quickly and I don’t have problems.

    But, it isn’t as fast as advertised.

  27. jmndos says:

    I would just sue them for tying.

    You should be able to buy an unlocked iphone and not have it rebricked by firmware updates.

  28. superdantx says:

    I’ve “raced” other people on certain websites, and been beaten soundly by an old school EDGE iPhone, and that was with a STRONG 3g signal. Other times I’ve had a strong signal with the 3G logo, but ZERO data connectivity. I really do think the 3G network is anywhere near as robust and fast as was first claimed, or advertised by apple/ATT. I travel all over the place, and have rarely found 3G that is anything faster then a “crawl.” I haven’t tried it in Canada, international data is ridiculously expensive, but have heard that the Rodgers guys up there do get better 3G then the guys stateside, just have a smaller 3G coverage area.

  29. Oleg Chetverikov says:

    Hi have HTC Touch with Windows Mobile 6. No problems with accessing high speed networks.

    How about an antitrust lawsuit that mandates IPhone allow application distribution outside of the App Store. Can you imagine if Microsoft said that all applications running on Windows Mobile have to be sold through their web site. And they would take a cut of all sales. No. I can’t either. Yet Apple seems to get away with it.

  30. Christopher Carey says:

    I just came from Verizon Wireless where I had a Windows Mobile xv6800. First off, yes occasionally I get bumped off a phone call or two. However with VZW I had absolutely NO connectivity in my office while all the AT&T crowd had 5 bars. I called VZW, that guy and his network never showed up. So yeah I have a 3G iPhone and can make calls now, and I don’t cry when I drop a phone call. I’m just happy to make a phone call. Its a bonus to get 3G internet speeed.

  31. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Hasn’t been a problem for me. I get very impressive 3G coverage in the SF Bay… and I came from Verizon. Before, I thought AT&T sucked but they have really proven me wrong.

    Fun fact: At my new apartment, I get 5 bars of 3G, perfect call quality, and fast Internet. The wife’s Verizon phone gets 1 bar and no EV-DO (3G) at all. I guess all those folks in hard hats are busy filming TV commercials.

  32. Andrew Burns says:

    Amen! I am driven nuts with the fact that 3G fades in and out, heck today for about 30 minutes the phone was searching for signal at all. The phone had WiFi, why can’t the darn thing route voice over WiFi? Why can’t AT&T display quality of signal information in addition to the silly signal bars… those signal bars don’t seem to apply to call quality in any way, shape or form….

    Argh!

  33. BillyDee_CT says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Apple shot themselves in the foot by going with AT&T exclusively. I’ve had much better luck with Verizon and I bet there would have been many more happy customers had they gone that route.

    It would be interesting to find out if AT&T made false promises to Apple about 3G performance and if Apple ever tested the 3G iPhone on AT&T’s network.

  34. Voyou_Charmant says:

    @meske: I think people just like to get things that work as promised. That doesn’t seem picky when you consider the ongoing cost of service.

  35. cccdude says:

    I believe every word. I live in the SF Bay area – techno heaven. When I need to access the net, it starts in 3G with full bars but almost always flips down to E with 1 or 2 bars. Even when manages to stay on 3G (truly rare), I hardly see any difference between that and E.

  36. katworthy says:

    I definitely have issues with being kicked off the network at weird times, moving from 5bar 3G to EDGE within 10 feet. It’s pretty annoying, especially when I’m trying to find the bus schedule, etc…

  37. Peter Corbett says:

    AT&T recently screwed me in a big way so I created an ANTI-AT&T Group:

    [www.facebook.com]

    Vent. Connect. Brand Terrorize.

  38. youwantedahero says:

    I, too, have an iPhone, and I have had some small issues with it, nothing major…

    Usually though, whatever the particular problem is (phone dropping calls, safari randomly crashing, not being able to connect to a data network), it gets really unbearably annoyingly bad, and then Apple releases an update, I update it, and it works fine for a while.

    Mine does also seem to jump to the EDGE network in places where I should have 3G, and then jump back when I move a little bit. But whatever, that’s cellphones for you. Mostly I’m totally happy with my iPhone, and I in NO WAY feel that any of this is cause for litigation.