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Friday, January 28, 2011

Apple Slammed with Class Action Suit over iPhone 4 Glass Breaking

A California man has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple claiming the company is falsely advertising its controversial iPhone 4, after having its glass enclosure shattered as the result of a drop.

LA Weekly reports that California resident Donald LeBuhn is accusing Apple of knowingly selling a faulty gadget, refusing to warn consumers that "normal" use will eventually lead to a broken phone.

First reported by Courthouse News Service, LeBuhn's suit claims he forked out $252 in September for a new iPhone 4, only to see it shattered after just three weeks of use when his daughter accidentally dropped it approximately three feet from the ground.

LeBuhn claims he previously owned an iPhone 3GS which didn't break when dropped from similar heights, the report notes.

It includes the findings of independent warranty provider SquareTrade which, last fall, analyzed 20,000 iPhone accidents and determined that:

-- iPhone 4 owners reported 82% more damaged screens in the first 4 months compared to iPhone 3gs owners;

-- Overall, the reported accident rate for iPhone 4s was 68% higher than for the iPhone 3gs;

-- An estimated 15.5% of iPhone 4 owners will have an accident within a year of buying their phone.

The seemingly informed LA Weekly further notes that Apple markets the strength of the iPhone 4 glass as "20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic," and that it is "ultradurable" and made of the same material as the "glass used in helicopters and high-speed trains."

While this is true for the front glass panel (known to be made from Gorilla glass), the same characteristics don't apply to the back side of the phone.

LeBuhn says in the lawsuit, "Months after selling millions of iPhone 4s, Apple has failed to warn and continues to sell this product with no warning to customers that the glass housing is defective."

According to the suit, LeBuhn is asking the court for Apple to give him a refund for his September purchase, as well as to everyone joining him in the class action suit.

LeBuhn's suit further demands that Apple reimburse customers for any fees they may have paid to have their phones repaired, and to make restitution for "their overpayment in purchasing defective iPhone 4s."

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