What good is a book you can’t read in sunlight? That’s the challenge being posed in a new lawsuit against Apple, that claims that Apple falsely advertised the device as a book replacement, when in reality it overheats and dies in sunlight on hot days.
The heat problems were noticed soon after the unit’s release. Summer weather isn’t kind to the tightly-packed tablet, which appears to have issues dissipating waste heat.
The tablet heats up to 113 degrees F relatively frequently when used outdoors under a hot, sunny summer day. The unit then shuts off to protect itself. A trip to the fridge can often revive the units, but by then your opportunity for a noontime read may have come and gone.
The new suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the North District of California last week, complains, “Using the iPad is not ‘just like a reading book’ at all since books do not close when the reader is enjoying them in the sunlight or in other normal environmental environments. The iPad overheats so quickly under common weather conditions that it does not function for prolonged use either indoors, or in many other warm conditions, for a variety of common uses such as, but not necessarily limited to, an e-reader, e-mail tool, Web browser and/or game/entertainment unit.”
The suit, filed on behalf of iPad buyers Jacob Baltazar, Claudia Keller and John R. Browning seeks class status, meaning that any iPad buyer would be eligible if the suit gets approved.
Overheating devices may be unpleasant, but they generally aren’t class action suit fodder. However, Apple’s claim that using the iPad is “just like reading a book” opens it to claims of misrepresentation and deceptive advertising.
The suit accuses the company of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive advertising practices, intentional misrepresentation, breach of warranty, and unfair business practices under the Unfair Competition Act. The group wants a trial by jury and wants to “punish” Apple with punitive damages, which they say will “deter others from engaging from similar misconduct in the future.” The group is also seeking standard damages.
Attorney Scott Edward Cole with Scott Cole & Associates is representing the pending class in the case.
Despite the heating issues and other minor problems, the iPad’s promising concept has propelled it to some impressive early sales and it shows no signs of slowing down.
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