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iPhone 4 Antenna Issues Lead to Class Action Lawsuits

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Apple and AT&T in California, Maryland and Texas. Bloomberg News is also reporting of two additional class action suits filed against Apple in New Jersey and Massachusetts. The lawsuits allege that the iPhone 4 drops calls frequently due to a faulty antenna design that Apple was aware of when it sold the units. The plaintiffs allege negligence, breach of implied warranty, fraud, deceptive trade practices and several additional counts. The California lawsuit claims, "design and manufacturing defects that were known to Defendants before it was released which were not disclosed to consumers".

The Apple iPhone 4 has been in the news after selling 1.7 million units in the first three days and receiving largely favorable reviews. Customers lined up for the iPhones which eventually sold out both online and in stores.

However, it was quickly discovered that covering the lower left side of the phone, as is common practice, can cause signal loss and dropped calls. Apparently, antenna points are located in the lower left side, so users hands are interfering with the signal. The antenna design was advertised by Apple as a feature of the new phone and design improvement over previous iPhones.

In order to overcome the defects, the lawsuit alleges that consumers are left with three unsatisfactory options: to hold the phone in a particular, uncomfortable manner, return the phones and pay a restocking fee or purchase a case for their phone.

The plaintiffs are seeking financial compensation, and an injunction to force Apple to stop selling the iPhone 4 until the alleged defects are corrected.

So far, Apple has not officially responded to the allegations although Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, reportedly responded to a customer email complaint by telling him to "Calm down [...] It is just a phone.”

That argument is unlikely to sway the attorneys who have filed the lawsuits.

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