updated 11:50 am EDT, Sun July 4, 2010
Apple often ignores lawsuit effects
Apple's iPhone 4 is the subject of much debate. Although the device is one of the best smartphones Apple has ever released, it has one major problem: if users hold the device in the wrong way, they will lose their signal with the 3G network. In fact, some have experienced such severe issues that they see a "No Service" tag when trying to use the smartphone the way they normally would.
That's a problem. And exactly how it will be solved is anyone's guess. But recent suggestions that Apple should be sued to address the antenna issue are arguably some of the dumbest ideas that have come out of this mess. Yes, lawsuits get the attention of the media and they force Apple to respond at some point, but time and again, they fail to deliver any measurable reward for those that are bringing the lawsuit against an organization. And even then, the reward doesn't come for months or years until the court finally has time to make a decision -- by which point the lawsuit could be a non-issue.
Suing Apple right now would be a mistake. For one, the antenna problem is easily solvable if users simply buy a case or hold the phone differently. And although it's annoying, it doesn't stop the user from communicating on the device. In fact, by switching over to speakerphone, no one will have trouble with the iPhone's antenna. Exactly what kind of legitimate case that can be built on the antenna issues is unknown.
But it goes beyond that. Apple is a different company than, say, Microsoft or Google. The company doesn't really care if a class-action lawsuit is brought against it, and even when something like that happens, it doesn't respond with the result that users are looking for. It simply goes about its business, and if future features eventually address a lawsuit that has been brought against it, the company goes with it. If not, Apple can ignore it.
Realizing that, a lawsuit seems like more of a waste of time, rather than something that could conceivably help consumers find a solution to the iPhone 4's antenna problems. Apple doesn't care about lawsuits, the lawsuits themselves accomplish little, and all the while, consumers are left wondering where the fix is. By the looks of things, Apple has already told users where the fix is: in their hands and in their software.
So, as much as we like justice, it's time to get over the idea of a lawsuit. It might make some of us feel better, but in reality, it won't do anything worthwhile in the timeframe when it would matter.
By Don Reisinger