Apple and AT&T continue to receive class action grief over iPhone 3G

The benefit of having one's own blog is the ability to choose the content.  I happen to have an iPhone 3G.  I was one of those thralls to commerce that actually stood in line (admittedly, a short line) to get the Jesus Phone version 2.0.  That's why I am interested in all the class actions that have been filed against Apple and AT&T over the phone's performance and design.

After the iPhone 3G was released, there was a substantial bit of consumer grumbling that AT&T's faster 3G network was not univerally available.  On August 19, 2008, Alabama resident Jessica Alena Smith filed the first know class action complaint yesterday against Apple, "alleging that the new iPhone's 3G performance and reliability has been subpar, despite the claims made by Apple's aggressive marketing campaign."  (Jacqui Cheng, AT&T hit with yet another iPhone 3G lawsuit (August 20, 2008)  Around the beginning of September, a second class action lawsuit was filed against Apple and AT&T.  ABC News reported:  "The main issue is that AT&T's 3G network isn't strong enough to support the millions of people who are iPhone 3G users," Michael Rott, a partner with the San Diego-based law firm Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP, told "Apple violated [California law] by misrepresenting the actual speed and performance of its 8G and 16G models."  (Ki Mae Heussner, IPhone 3G Draws Second Class Action Suit (September 4, 2008)

A third class action suit was filed in New Jersey.  A fourth, filed this week, alleges that the iPhone does not live up to Apple's and AT&T's claims of speed and performance and that the rear plastic housing in the iPhone 3G is defective, resulting in hairline cracks.  (Chris Foresman, iPhone 3G lawsuit blames Apple, AT&T for cracks, slow speed (September 23, 2008)

I don't want to write off these class actions at such and early stage, but it seems to me that connectivity issues will vary widely by location, rendering class treatment over large geographic areas challenging at a minimum.  My ancecdotal experience is that the two software updates issued by Apple both improved the performance of the phone, including its 3G connectivity performance.  And while everyone is lamenting AT&T's terrible 3G coverage, I'm writing this post after connecting with my AT&T 3G modem when my cable internet was having issues tonight.  My iPhone works fine on 3G here, it works fine on 3G in Las Vegas, and it works fine on 3G in New Orleans.  Basically, the iPhone 3G is awesome (unless you have fat fingers, in which case you should look elsewhere and save yourself the pain of typing on a virtual keyboard).