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Why Diss Jessica Smith for Suing Apple Over the iPhone 3G?

erku's picture

After writing about Alabama resident Jessica Alena Smith's lawsuit against Apple, I was surprised by some of the negative comments over the lawsuit. For example, this one:

"This woman is a venomous money sucker. She's not thinking how she can get a better product, though. She's just seeing $$$ in her eyes."

First of all, she wants this lawsuit to be granted class-action status. Anyone know how much money is typically made off a class-action lawsuit? Take a look at a different Apple class-action lawsuit: the iPod battery lawsuit. The settlement over that really made people rich, right?

In that case, the best you could get, if your 3rd-gen iPod's battery failed during the warranty period (including a one-year extension), was a replacement iPod. Wow, I'm rich! Most others received $25 or $50.

This isn't a lawsuit that's going to garner a huge settlement. Anyone who thinks it will is dreaming, and people (there are other posts like the above around the Web) who thinks she's after money are ... quite honestly, being pretty silly (and that's me being nice; I have a few different words I could use).

Twice as Fast. Half the Price.

There are also many who say, hey, the phone's half the price; there's no false advertising. And when 3G works, it is twice as fast.

Well, yeah, that's right. It is. When it works. But many, including me, have given up on 3G completely and switched to EDGE all the time. And since we are paying $10 a month more for our data plans than the EDGE plans of first-gen iPhones, we're basically getting shafted.

Oh, and that half the price part of the ad? Completely off. Once you add in the $10 a month extra for the data plan, and the $5 for SMS (it was included in first-gen iPhone service plans), you pay more for the 3G phone over the two-year contract. Once again, I'm amazed by how people just hear something, and believe it, without thinking.

Don't Like It? Ditch It

Naturally, there are those who say: don't like the phone, return it. Thing is, most love the phone. They just want what they paid for. And it's not just a question of the phone itself; I might even be willing to live with it in EDGE all the time, but I'm paying that $10 a month I keep mentioning for the non-existent 3G service.

Works Fine for Me

And for those who say: "it works just fine for me?" It's been theorized that areas with a higher concentration of 3G mobile phones (like the SF Bay Area, where I live) have a much higher probability of having the issue.

It's AT&T's Lousy 3G Network

Finally, I'm just amazed at how many people continue to either a) discount the problem, b) continue to blame AT&T.

First, it's definitely a problem. There have been too many reports, and if major media outlets like the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal pick up on it ... it's a real problem.

Second, it's been reported worldwide, and in areas of the world with much more mature 3G service than the U.S. Kinda hard for it to be AT&T's fault if it's happening to Vodafone and T-Mobile users.

Third, I work in mobile phones. I can stick six different AT&T 3G phones on my desk, right next to an iPhone (and I've tried several iPhones, as we are working with them) and see the iPhone have 1 bar while the bars on the other phones are full. And this will happen at both home and work.

In fact, while I only had two other phones today (a Q9h and a Treo Pro), I did put them side by side with an iPhone. Check out the result by clicking the above image. FYI: I blurred out some stuff that might be work-sensitive.

My Big Worry: a Fake Fix

Here's my big worry. Since I work on mobile phone software, I know what's been done in the past with problems with phones. It seems like the iPhone 3G has much lower 3G signal strength in the same area than other 3G phones do. If it downshifted to EDGE instead of just sitting with 1 bar, it would perform just fine ... but wouldn't be in 3G. The big disadvantage of this, beside the fact users are paying $10 more for 3G, is that you can't use voice and data at the same time.

And of course, as pictured above, other 3G phones would be working just fine in that same area.

So, if Apple "fixed" the software to do this, it might satisfy users, but it would be a false fix. It wouldn't really fix the true problem: much lower 3G signal strength compared to other 3G phones. Whether that can be fixed with software or not, I don't know. If it can't, Apple should do a recall.

Don't get me wrong, though. That's my fear, not my expectation. But, I'll tell you, with those six (really more) phones I have available, when Apple releases a fix, I'll be able to check it. And it turns out to be what I fear, I'll be on the phone to Smith's lawyers, the New York Times, and anyone who will listen so fast your head will spin.

So stop dissing her. Someone had to do it. Someone had to make sure Apple took notice. And someone has to make sure we get a "genuine" fix, not a "fake" one. If they do the right thing, great. I'll be the first to applaud.

But, if they don't, you can be sure at least one person will make sure people know about it.

Reported by Tech Ex

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