Skip to main content
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Technology

Apple users threaten to sue computer maker

The claims of problems have also extended to the company's higher-end PowerBook line.
The claims of problems have also extended to the company's higher-end PowerBook line.

Story Tools

RELATED
• CNN/Money: Apple faces the music  
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Apple Computer Incorporated
Computing and Information Technology
Technology (general)

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Can a few bad apples -- like product quality complaints and potential lawsuits -- spoil the bunch for loyal fans of Apple Computer Inc. ahead of their biggest party of the year?

As enthusiasts devoted to Apple prepare to descend on San Francisco next week for the annual Macworld conference, at least two online petitions have collected hundreds of signatures from potential plaintiffs seeking to file lawsuits over claims of defects in the iBook laptop.

Another growing source of complaints surrounds Apple's wildly-popular iPod line of digital music players, which many enthusiasts believe will get an upgrade at Macworld with the introduction of smaller, less-expensive models and a range of case colors.

In California, a lawsuit seeking class-action status is expected to be filed January against the company over the claim that Apple's warranty does not run long enough to cover problems with the player's battery.

Apple has won raves over the years for its sleekly designed computers. The company, with a market share of around 2 percent, is able to command higher prices due in part to Apple machines being perceived as more secure and reliable than PCs running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Taken together, both consumer campaigns against a company that prides itself on high standards for design and engineering threaten to cast a shadow over Macworld, historically a forum for Apple and its charismatic leader, Steve Jobs, to showcase new products and innovations.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on both questions of pending litigation and the claims of defective computers.

Users of Apple's iBook have been reporting problems with their iBooks in increasing numbers in the last few weeks, according to Ric Ford, president of MacIntouch Inc., which runs the MacIntouch.com, an independent site for Mac users.

But Ford attributed the increased chatter more to the fact that some users have narrowed in on the cause of the long-standing problems rather than the impending start of the Macworld show.

"I don't think it's really related to Macworld," Ford said. "I think the problems have been there, but people are starting to understand the source of the problems."

The difficulties stem from the iBook's logic board, or motherboard, users say in discussion forums and on message boards -- including boards on Apple's own Web site. Many users report replacement units have the same problems with display and video output.

Most of the complaints pertain to a particular iBook model with dual USB ports, and many users say the problems started to show up just after the computer came out of warranty.

One of the petition sites, BlackCider.com, which uses as its logo an apple with a screw run through it, has 408 signatures from potential lawsuit participants.

Site owner Michael Johnson also offers T-shirts with the site logo on front and "Ask me about my logic board" on back.

The other Web site, created by Brendan Carolan at PetitionOnline.com, has collected 850 signatures and calls on Apple to either extend the iBook warranties or offer a replacement.

Neither Johnson nor Carolan were immediately available for comment.

The claims of problems have also extended to the company's higher-end PowerBook line. Macworld magazine, in its December issue, said it had to return three of six 15-inch aluminum PowerBook G4s it ordered for testing purposes because of defects.

Meanwhile, a video making the rounds of the Internet shows a man spray-painting the message "IPod's battery, which cannot be replaced, lasts only 18 months" on iPod posters.

The filmmaker, Casey Neistat, said in a note on his Web site, ipodsdirtysecret.com, that he decided to make the film after his unit essentially died in September and he was told the battery could not be replaced. Subsequently, Apple has begun offering a $99 battery replacement service.



Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Burgers, lattes and CD burners
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.