After reviewing widespread reports about antenna-related problems with Apple's new iPhone 4, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff launched an investigation to find out whether the problem is in fact wide-spread. Immediately, iPhone 4 owners began contacting the firm with identical reports of the iPhone 4's antenna not working properly. On June 29, 2010, the firm filed suit against Apple and AT&T in the Northern District of California, and are seeking relief on behalf of all iPhone 4 users.
Consumers have eagerly awaited the launch of the new iPhone 4, which sold 1.7 million in its first week of sales, according to Apple. The phone retails for $199.00 for the 16GB model or $299.00 for the 32GB model with a 2-year contract (or $599.00 16GB / $699.00 32GB without a contract). Users pay a $36 activation fee plus a mandatory minimum $15 monthly data plan over and above their standard monthly plan and usage fees.
After purchasing, many consumers discovered that their new phones did not provide the better reception they were promised. The new design features a metal antenna encircling the entire outside edge of the phone that, when touched with one's hand, limits the phone's ability to send and receive data and phone calls.
The only solutions that have been offered by Apple to date have been to sell rubber cases which Apple manufactures and which retail for $29 each, and to instruct users that they are holding the phone incorrectly. In other words, iPhone 4 users must either hold their phone in awkward manner or pay more money on top of the premium paid for the iPhone 4 in order to have a functional phone. Reports from inside Apple leaked to the media may suggest that the inherent defect in the phone's design was known to Apple and AT&T before it was sold, and was not disclosed to the millions of initial purchasers.
Since Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff announced their investigation, more than 1200 iPhone 4 users have contacted the firm.
If the case resolves in favor of iPhone 4 customers on a class-wide basis, each member of the class will receive formal notice of the case under the supervision of the court that oversees the case.