More suits filed in iPhone 4 antenna fracas

Even as Apple has said it is a software problem, the antenna issue that has dogged the phone since its debut is bringing more accusations of deceptive and false marketing.

Apple may have offered a solution to faulty antenna allegations, but that hasn't stopped customers from getting the courts involved.

On Friday yet another lawsuit was filed against Apple for "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4--particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software."

The suit was filed on behalf of Steve Tietze and others in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is seeking class action status. Tietze accuses Apple of unfair competition, false and misleading advertising, breach of warranty, and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

On Wednesday a suit was filed on behalf of two iPhone 4 owners in Maryland, and is also seeking class action status. iPhone 4 owners in New Jersey and Massachusetts have also filed similar suits.

These suits are latching on to the reported issue some customers are having with signal loss when the iPhone 4 is gripped in a certain way. It's been suggested the problem is tied to the iPhone 4's design, which incorporates the cellular radio into the metal band running on the outside of the phone, right where most people put their hands when holding the device. At first, Apple said this was a problem common to any phone and suggested buying a rubber case or holding the phone differently.

But then the company changed its story. Apple put out a statement Friday morning in which it claims the problem stems from the phone's software erroneously calculating signal bar strength. Apple promised a software update to fix it soon, and said anyone who wanted to return their new device could do so for a full refund.

Not everyone is buying that, however , and Apple's varied explanations for the problem are likely to be brought up if these cases every make it to trial.

Complaint Tietze Apple FINAL

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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