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Hot off the Press - News & Commentary
January 1, 2004 by Keith Benicek

Now New iBook Owners Threaten to Sue Apple over defects.

As if Apple isn’t facing enough issues with unhappy iPod owners at the year end and just before the MWSF love-fest, now hundred of RECENT iBook owners have signed petitions from a potential plaintiffs seeking to file lawsuits over claims of defects in the Apple notebook computer. Certainly an embarrassing situation for Apple as the throngs of blindly loyal fans of the Mac, converge on San Francisco for the annual Macworld Expo 2004.
   iBook video display problem sample is from blackcider.com

There have been at least two online petitions for those unhappy owners seeking a lawsuit available online on what they claim to be seriously flawed and defected iBooks. The iBook was once the darling of budget ($1,495) minded Mac buyers and many school districts.

We have been told of a numerous complaints from schools that have purchased iBooks for student use in classes, where there have been inordinantly high failures with the iBooks “logic board” (motherboard) and video problems. Apple has lost their one time ownership of the educational to companies like Dell (# 1), Gateway and IBM. Many once Apple school districts have sworn off Apple, citing too high costs and lack of on-site repair and upgradeability.

One iBook owner posted this common complaint on BlackCider.com: "...the university I attend has been having lots of problems with the iBooks we give to art students. Mostly, the video cable would somehow get messed up and the screen would flicker or show a funny line pattern and the computer would lock up hard. It's happened many times, and some people said they've gotten 5 iBooks already.”

BlackCider.com, which has collected over 1049 signatures so far and is calling on disgruntled owners to converge on the Macworld Expo January 5th through the 9th to voice their issues.
                  
Most of the complaints pertain to the most recent iBook models from 2002 and many users say the problems began suspiciously just after the computer came out of it 12 month warranty.

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A web site at PetitionOnline.com, created by Brendan Carolan, has collected 850 signatures regarding complaints specifically regarding the iBook model. The petition asks that Apple to either extend the iBook warranties beyond the original year, or offer a replacement to owners.
         
 iBook video display problem sample from blackcider.com

Calls to Apple’s PR department were met with a “no comment” , however numerous owners have said that their calls to Apple technical support regarding the possibility of flaws in the iBooks design, are that “there are no known flaws”.

A well known Macintosh help site called MacFixit reported that a read has found otherwise. “MacFixIt reader Peter Hilleard says he has found a document prepared by Apple's service officials in July 2001 indicating that there was prior knowledge of display cables being damaged in some iBook models. The document is located in the "Restricted: Apple Specialists" section of Apple's Knowledge Base, and is titled "iBook (Dual USB): No Display, or Dim Display, But Computer Appears to Operate Correctly."

"This indicates Apple knew as early as July 2001 that these display cables can be damaged - It is not caused by the user (because the cables are completely hidden inside the iBook.)”

Apple’s expensive ($2,199 - $3,499) PowerBook line also has serious claims of problems with cracking and flaking paint, failing top lid hinges and exceptionally poor Wi-Fi LAN reception on the G4 Titanium PowerBooks.

The brand new Aluminum housed G4 PowerBook also suffers from over heating and a widely known “blotchy white LCD display” problem. In Macworld magazines December issue, it said it had to return three of six 15-inch aluminum PowerBook G4s it ordered for testing purposes because of defects. These are $2,499. notebook computers, not a “get what you pay for” budget PC.

These portable Mac issues along with the poor recent publicity with the iPods expensive and short-lived battery are sure to cast a long shadow on Apple’s reputation and the festivities at their annual San Francisco convention.



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