Nearly three years after the device first launched, GigaOm points us to a recently filed class action lawsuit that claims Apple’s iPhone 4 has a defective power button. The lawsuit claims that a defective flex cable typically causes the on/off switch to fail shortly after the device’s one year warranty has expired. It also claimsApple is aware of the problem, which is costing users around $149 to fix off of warranty.
Apple of course still sells the iPhone 4 through a number of carrier partners as its low end, $0 down iPhone option.
According to the lawsuit, “thousands of iPhone 4 users have suffered” from the issue that Apple allegedly knew existed before manufacturing and selling the device. The problem has never received a lot of mainstream media coverage or a response from Apple, but the lawsuit notes that a support forum on Apple’s website boasts over 800K views since first popping up in January 2011. Read more
Payday has come for some of the first responders to the iPhone 4 class action lawsuit. Last February a settlement was reached that granted iPhone 4 owners who had not previously received a free bumper for their “defective” iPhones a $15 payout. Several of our readers are now reporting that they received their settlement checks today. The first checks were issued on April 17 2013 and are void after July 16th. Unfortunately the deadline for submitting a claim has passed so if you missed out the first time around it seems you are out of luck.
Apple was “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.”
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Duetsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference this morning, where he was asked a few questions related to the iPhone. Verizon reported its fourth quarter 2012 earnings last month with 9.8 million smartphone activations—a record 6.2 million of which were iPhone. We knew about half, or 3.1 million, of those iPhone sales were driven by the first full quarter with the iPhone 5, but today Shammo talked about just how important getting the free iPhone 4 was during the quarter:
But this past fourth quarter you had a couple — you had really one thing happen that never happened before, especially with Verizon Wireless, and that was for the first time ever, because of the iPhone 5 launch, we had the 4 at free. So it was the first time ever you could get a free iPhone on the
Verizon Wireless network. So that produced a lot of volume for us. We had a lot of new customers come into Verizon who took that free phone, and that was great for us because again if you think about — we sold a lot of LTE product in the fourth quarter. We sold a lot of 3G product from the iPhone products in the fourth quarter.
But that is key for us, because if you think about our two networks it is important for me as I migrate people into the 4G network I still have this very large 3G network that operates very efficiently. We are not investing any more capital in that network other than to keep it up and running, so no more coverage capital, no more capacity capital. If I can keep that network up and running that just generates more contribution margins for us. So it is critical for us to balance that. But, again, I think you had one point in time where you had a free phone, a free Apple phone that never happened before with us and that generated a lot of volume.
While noting that 53 percent of the carrier’s smartphone activations were iPhones in 2012, Shammo was asked about the opportunity to incentivize employees to sell non-Apple devices that would also come with lower subsidies for Verizon:
The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone.
You can read more from Shammo’s presentation and where he discusses the growth of Share Everything plans, tablets, and more here.
Today, we have received the first photos of a carrying case for this redesigned 9.7-inch iPad. Once again, this new evidence of a redesign points to a form-factor that is narrower in comparison to previous full-sized iPads.
According to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily (via Macotakara), Apple is apparently in the process of preparing suppliers for the launch of a Retina MacBook Air in Q3 2013. The report appears to claim that both 11- and 13-inch variants of the MacBook Air will launch with Retina displays in addition to an upgrade from Intel’s new Haswell platform. Apple supplier Quanta is expected to begin receiving shipments of the new components in the second quarter, according to Economic Daily.
Today’s report of course goes against recent claims from analysts predicting the next-gen MacBook Air would land in Q2 or Q3 without a Retina display. We heard last year that Apple was working on MacBook Airs with Retina displays, but sources indicated the power drawn from the Retina Displays combined with the thin and light form factor of the MacBook Air may pose challenges for Apple and its product manufacturers. Read more
We’ve gotten word from sources that Apple is preparing to release (in some fashion) a single, additional iPad model. This would be a new SKU for the current fourth-generation iPad with Retina display line. At this point, we do not have pricing information, so it is definitely difficult to pinpoint exactly what this new iPad model is.
Here is what we do know:
It is a fourth-generation iPad, not a new design.
It comes in both the current black and white color options.
It comes in both WiFi-only and WiFi + Cellular versions.
It is a more premium SKU that will join the current line of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB fourth-generation iPads.
10-pack deals (in both colors) for educational institutions will be offered.
With developers finding code in the soon-to-be-released iOS 6.1 that points to 128GB iOS devices, and with recent findings of 128GB references in Apple’s recent iTunes 11 release, speculation naturally points to Apple releasing a 128GB iPad in the very near future. While it is certainly plausible that this new iPad model is the 128GB iPad, we are currentlynot confident enough to outright claim that, but it seems likely based on the evidence.
Update: We’ve received pricing information for this new iPad model. The pricing is in line with a higher storage capacity, coming in at around $799 for the WiFi-only model and $929 for the Cellular-compatible model in the United States. So, new capacity sounds even more likely.
Here are the new SKUs via a source at a high-profile U.S. retailer: