Apple Sued: New 20" iMac Screens Display 260k Colors, Not Millions

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of an Apple ad campaign in the past 10 years knows that they tend to play fast and loose with the truth in their ad copy. Their towers are the fastest, their laptop is the thinnest, their phone is the most advanced. With so many unchecked exaggerations, Apple sometimes comes across as the consumer electronics version of Donald Trump, augmented by killer industrial and UI designers. Now a law firm in California has filed a class-action suit against the company for misrepresenting its new 20-inch iMac models as being capable of producing millions of colors, when in fact they use a substandard el-cheapo screen that is nowhere near as capable as what’s in the 24-inch models.

From the law firm’s press release:

Apple told consumers that both the 20-inch and 24-inch iMacs displayed “millions of colors at all resolutions.” Indeed, the new 24-inch iMacs display 16,777,216 colors on 8-bit, in-plane switching (IPS) screens, as did the previous generation of 20-inch iMacs. But the new 20-inch iMac monitors do not even come close, displaying 98% fewer colors (262,144).
 
While Apple describes the display of both the 24-inch and 20-inch iMacs as though they were interchangeable, the monitors in each are of radically different technology. The 20-inch iMacs feature 6-bit twisted nematic film (TN) LCD screens, the least expensive of its type.
 
The 20-inch iMac’s TN screens have a narrower viewing angle, less color depth, less color accuracy and are more susceptible to washout across the screen.
 
Apple’s Web site tells consumers that “No matter what you like to do on your computer — watch movies, edit photos, play games, even just view a screen saver — it’s going to look stunning on an iMac.”
 
In fact, the inferior technology of the 20-inch iMac is particularly ill-suited to editing photographs because of the display’s limited color potential and the distorting effect of the color simulation processes.

“Apple sued over ‘inferior’ iMac screens” [InfoWorld]