Apple hit by class action lawsuit over faulty iPhone 4 power button


A woman in Florida is suing Apple because her iPhone 4’s power button was defective.

She is suing Apple for more than $5 million on behalf of iPhone 4 owners who have reported the defective power button ever since it was launched in 2010.

GigaOm reports:

In a class action suit filed in San Jose, California, Debra Hilton claims that Apple knew about a defect in a flex cable that controls the on-off button, but chose to stay quiet about it so as to sell more phones.

As evidence, she points to Apple discussion forums viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors on which users complain of “wiggly” power buttons. Hilton also points to a fix-it video on YouTube and comments by a self-described iPhone repairman who says the power button defect is prevalent on the iPhone 4 which went on sale in 2010.

The lawsuit claims that the power button stops working after a year, so it is not possible to get a replacement or get it repaired as the device is no longer under warranty, which forces customers to pay $149 for repairs.

The Apple discussion forums thread titled “iPhone 4 Power Button Stuck” that has been mentioned in the lawsuit has over 450 posts and 800,000 page views, which indicates that a number of users have been affected by the problem with the power button.

Do you think this lawsuit is justified or as usual opportunistic?

Via: GigaOM

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Categories: Apple News, iPhone 4

  • Johnny

    Make up your mind, are we talking the Iphone 4 or 5. The article says “Iphone 5 power button stuck” I take it you mean 4 as it mentions 2010. I think she is chancing her arm.

    • moe22

      if you notice on iPhone 5’s (any it doesnt matter) the sleep button is overly loose. brand new or 1 year old. the sleep button wiggles.

    • iPhoneHacks

      It’s iPhone 4. We’ve fixed the typo.

  • iSam

    You have a year warranty, yours went past that year. If you’re unhappy, get a damn android or pay to have the button you broke fixed!

    • Britannica Who?

      Or don’t make a disposable device to go with my two year shiontract. Yup. Terrible contraction (hah) but I’m making a great point. Waste so many resources just to mass produce these little blocks of cultural Pac Men. Oh and you fanboys downvoting simple suggestions – you guys get an identity; finally.

      Careful. He’s a high horse. With your hand all the way open like.. yup.

      • chadster

        Apple doesn’t enforce a 2-year compliance to purchase an iPhone

  • Aaron

    odd….. I got mine in aug 2010 and i have not experienced the “faulty” home button fault…..

    • moe22

      same. heres a bigger twist 3 people in my house own 2010 iPhone 4’s none have any issues. They have been software tampered.

  • Mahfuzur Rahman

    I bought mine in Dec 2010, and now the power button and the home button has almost stopped working.

  • wale

    she’s just a freaking opportunist

  • Steveo

    I’ve never had problems with the power/sleep button. Bought my iPhone 4 in Dec 2010. I used to have issues with the home button until I figured out how to calibrate it. Thanks iphonehacks for that info! I calibrated a friends iPhone 4 home button just last week. It had almost completely stopped working and now it works great.

    In case you guys don’t know, it’s the same as the force kill. Hold the power button until the power off slider appears. Then hold the home button until you are taken back to the home screen. It force kills whatever you h

    • Steveo

      … have open & calibrated your home button at the same time.

      Wouldn’t let me type any more…

  • Mat

    I work at a phone repair shop and I fix around 2 a week with this fault. And I live in a small town. Maybe someone should sue Sony and Microsoft about the RROD and the YELLOW LIGHT OF DEATH. We fix and 10-15 a week.

    • shrug

      actually they (microsoft) did get sued.
      they also got sued for having the dvd drive scratch disks if you tilt the console while playing.

      class action lawsuits are a viable option when enough people have the same problem.

      i was pretty lucky in not ever having this problem on my iphone, however almost everyone I know who’s owned an iphone 4 has had this problem at least once or twice.

      it may be opportunistic, however it enforces higher standards in the industry and gives companies feedback in a forceful way, one that says “we don’t take that junk”.

      do you remember the original ipod battery class action lawsuit?

      • mat

        Yeah I know about Microsoft. They extended their warranty to 3 years. But nothing with Sony. And they break so much. Even the slims are in every week. New lasers. Ylod. Its awful.

  • David

    my iphone 4s power button stopped working almost exactly after a year. my sister has same phone we bought at the same time but hers still works. I do use my phone substantially more than she does. I talked to a friend of mine mentioned to me that apple knows about the issue but instead of fixing the phone they rather give or sell a new phone to the customer because when trying to repair the power button the antenna gets tampered and typically breaks.

  • mkimid

    I have experienced with two iPhone 4, I just though that I have a bad habit and it have broken the button of my iPhone.

  • John Roberts

    Thats actually exactly what happened to my iphone 4.

  • Arizona Herb

    My IPhone 4S power button, shortly after the one-year warranty, has begun sinking. I believe it’s reasonable for me to believe that it will stop working soon, especially after reading users’ comments; and that I can expect Apple to charge an excessive fee for repairing this. Anyone have information how i can join a class action?

    • iPhoneHacks

      It was only for the iPhone 4 as far as we’re aware.

  • Alex

    Exactly 13 months to the day and mines done.
    Funny I asked the ‘genius’ after they declined to fix my speaker while still under warranty if my phone was gonna crap out all together conveniently as my year warranty ended. Should have seen his face. Useless at 6months in and totally useless now. I’m buying an android.