A new class action suit filed in California takes issue with how the iPad shuts off automatically if it overheats. In particular, however, the suit claims that the marketing phrase “reading on the iPad is just like reading a book” is misleading, and that Apple is therefore engaging in fraud and misleading consumers. This is great news for me, because I was thinking of suing Apple for not providing dustjackets for iBookstore titles but my friends told me I shouldn’t.
In the complaint (PDF) filed last week, the plaintiffs argue that Apple promised more than it could deliver with the iPad, and didn’t warn consumers that the device could overheat “under common weather conditions.”
The suit argues:
19. … The presence of this [iBooks] and other iPad applications such as an email reader, the “Safari” web browser, “iTunes,” “iPod,” and the availability of numerous built-in and add-on applications, make the iPad an attractive tool for consumers desiring the option of extended use of the product both indoors and outdoors, and under variable environmental conditions.
20. Indeed, according to the http://www.apple.com website, “[r]eading on iPad is just like reading a book.” However, contrary to this promise, using the iPad is not “just like reading a book” at all since books do not close when the reader is enjoying them in the sunlight or in other normal environmental environments. This promise, like other portions of APPLE’s marketing material for the iPad, is false.
The suit goes on to say that the iPad is “virtually unusable” outdoors in direct sunlight because it turns off “sometimes after just a few minutes of use,” and that nowhere in its marketing or sales materials did Apple warn consumers about this. Well, except maybe here under the “Environmental Requirements” heading, but that’s not mentioned in the complaint.
If the plaintiffs win, I think Apple should also be forced to install a wind sensor so that pages flip automatically when you’re outdoors in a strong breeze. Then the company could sell an “iPadWeight” wireless accessory ($69) that you would have to put on top of the screen to “hold down” the pages. A wireless “iMark” ($29) that would function as a bookmark wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
And of course Apple should provide free dustjackets. Unless you want to face my legal wrath, Jobs.
“Class action lawsuit filed over “overheating” iPads” [ars technica via Teleread]
Baltazar et al v. Apple Inc (case# 3:10-cv-03231) (PDF) [Archive.org]