As many of you know, IMHO the Pearl is the best phone out there. Been saying that since September 06. And I continue to believe that the iPhone will fail due to its battery and touchscreen.
Look at these articles that just came out. Standby for the Pearl 2, say goodbye to the iPhone [unless they change it]:
July 31, 2007
New York State's Consumer Protection Board has raised some complaints about the iPhone's battery and the phone's repair and return policies in a letter to Apple, the agency said yesterday.
The rechargeable battery must eventually be replaced by Apple Computer Inc., which makes the device, when the battery no longer holds a charge. Apple charges $79 plus $6.95 shipping for the battery replacement after the one-year warranty has expired on the device, which sells for $500 to $600 with a two-year wireless contract with AT&T.
"I encourage Apple to redesign the iPhone in order to provide for a replaceable battery,"
Mindy Bockstein, chairwoman and executive director of the state's Consumer Protection Board, wrote to Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, in a letter dated July 17 that the agency provided to Newsday yesterday.
In a news release, Bockstein said, "A high-end cell phone shouldn't have to have low-end customer service." Two representatives for Apple did not return phone calls and e-mails.
Zach Zadek, 14, an iPhone enthusiast from Dix Hills, said he's "not happy" that he would have to send the iPhone to Apple to have the battery replaced. But as an owner of an iPod, which also lacks a user-replaceable battery, he's accustomed to the policy
Bockstein also told Jobs that Apple should provide free rental phones as customers wait for repairs to the iPhone. "Consumers should not have to rent an iPhone for $29 because their expensive iPhone failed to perform as expected and needs repair,
" she wrote.
She also said Apple should extend its 14-day return policy to 30 days, which is the period AT&T allows for the wireless service the phone uses. Furthermore, Apple shouldn't charge a 10-percent restocking fee and should review how it discloses contract terms and conditions, warranties and return policies
, Bockstein wrote. An iPhone user filed a class-action lawsuit last week claiming Apple didn't inform customers that Apple must replace the battery, according to news reports. Apple's Web site discloses the battery may eventually lose its ability to hold a charge and must be replaced by Apple
The site says users can extend battery life by charging the iPhone at least once a month and keeping its software up-to-date as engineers may develop new ways to optimize performance.
Another News Article
An Illinois resident has filed a lawsuit against Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) The suit, brought by Jose Trujillo, claims customers were not clearly informed that the iPhone was sealed, and that the device would have to be sent away for battery replacement at an additional cost.
"Unknown to the plaintiff and undisclosed to the public prior to purchase, the iPhone is a sealed unit with its battery soldered on the inside of the device so that it cannot be changed by the owner," reads the complaint. "The battery enclosed in the iPhone can only be charged approximately 300 times before it will be in need of replacement, necessitating a new battery annually for owners of the iPhone."
Apple's battery replacement policy -- now clearly stated on the Web site -- is that it will charge US$79 plus $6.95 shipping for the replacement after the one-year warranty has expired on the device. Trujillo filed the suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County. He is seeking class action status.
Road Map to Dismissal
Apple and AT&T's likely first order of business will be to defeat the request for class certification. Indeed, if class certification is denied, it is likely Trujillo will drop the suit. If it is not, chances are good Apple will negotiate a settlement, Christopher S. Griesmeyer, a partner in the litigation practice at Levenfeld Pearlstein, told MacNewsWorld.
"Apple almost always fights these suits, but in a typical case a class action status is a good reason to settle," he said.
Apple will likely attempt to have the case moved to federal court, because "appellate courts have not been particularly friendly to class actions," Dwight Davis, a senior partner in the litigation practice group at King & Spalding, told MacNewsWorld.
More than likely it will succeed, he said, and thus have a good chance of avoiding the class action.
However, such outcomes can be especially difficult to second guess. "If this were to go to trial, I would say it would justify class certification," Todd W. Bonder, a partner with Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, told MacNewsWorld. "The issue is not limited to the plaintiff, but affects everyone who bought the iPhone over that time period."
The plaintiff has a number of challenges to meet in the courtroom, though, even if the case does win class action status. In short, the suit might not have merit, since the argument might prevail that most savvy consumers should expect such a battery replacement requirement. "I am not sure if what is being alleged is actionable in a court of law," Bonder said.
Another barrier for the plaintiff is the question of Apple's intent to deceive customers, Davis added. "It will be a difficult claim to prove," he predicted.
On the other hand, while Apple fans may be incredulous that anyone could assume that the battery would not have to be professionally replaced, the courts may well decide otherwise, since the iPhone is a hybrid device.
Should the case proceed to trial, Apple and the courts will spend a lot of time determining whether the initial buyers were expecting it to be similar to an iPod or to a cell phone.
"If they were expecting an iPod, then they should be used to it being a sealed device. A cell phone customer invariably, though, will expect the battery to be able to be removed," Griesmeyer pointed out.
The matter of the 300 charges, though, is likely to be more clear-cut, as battery life and performance were highlighted both by Apple and by product reviewers even before the iPhone's auspicious debut.
It would be difficult to prove that Apple was deceptive about the battery life, as the battery specs were one of the chief complaints about the product. Shortly before its launch, Apple revised its earlier estimates about performance. The new specs were eight hours of talk time, six hours of Internet use, seven hours of video or 24 hours of audio playback; compared with five hours of talk time, five hours of Internet use, and five hours of video or 16 hours of audio playback.
What It Knew, When It Knew It
None of this, though, may be relevant to the case. "This isn't a fight about technology and battery performance," said Griesmeyer. "It is about the notice Apple provided to its customers: what did it know, when did it know it, and when did it communicate that knowledge to that first round of buyers."
At the moment, it is unclear when Apple went public with its battery replacement policy. It posted details on the company Web site on Friday, June 29, some time after the product went on sale that same day, a company spokesperson reportedly told the Associated Press.
For their part, consumer advocates have also taken Apple to task for its disclosure, or lack thereof, of the battery replacement policy. New York State's Consumer Protection Board, for example, sent a letter to Apple complaining about the iPhone's battery and the phone's repair and return policies. So did the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights, which said that the iPhone's battery and repair costs should have been clearly disclosed earlier.
Does all this, though, add up to a legitimate lawsuit against Apple -- much less one with class action status?
A jury would likely be impatient with both defendant and plaintiff, Griesmeyer speculated.
"A Cook County jury is not going to have much sympathy for a bunch of people who spent $500 or $600 on a phone," he said. At the same time, he continued, they are not going to be pleased with a company that withholds information from customers in order to increase profits."