Apple Sued for iMac Display Deception, Steve Jobs Suspected Closet Megatron

The hyenas are grouping again to grab some chops off Apple with yet-another-class-action suit. This one claims that the iMac's 20-inch display has been marketed as having the same features as the iMac 24-inch. Looking at Apple's site, their case seems without much merit (the technical term, I believe, is "bloodyfrikkinstupidtastic"). Here's Apple description and the lawyers' press release:

Rich, vivid color.
No matter what you like to do on your computer—watch movies, edit photos, play games, even just view a screen saver—it's going to look stunning on an iMac. That's because iMac now features a glossy display with glass cover that makes graphics, photos, and videos come alive with richer colors and deeper blacks.

The lawyers pursuing the case claim that "Apple is deceiving consumers, duping its customers into thinking they're buying 'new and improved' when in fact they're getting stuck with 'new and inferior.' Beneath Apple's 'good guy' image is a corporation that takes advantage of its customers."

I don't believe for a second that Apple is a good guy. The fact, however, is that after seeing the iMac 20 and iMac 24 side by side, I can hardly notice the difference. Maybe I'm blind after working with Photoshop since the early '90s, but the photos, video and the whole interface look incredibly good on the 20-inch models. I can't find any claims by Apple that this is the same screen, nor I can see what's wrong or deceiving about Apple's promotional material.

Brian Kabateck, Managing Partner of Kabateck Brown Kellner also had this to say:

Our goal is to help those customers who were deceived and make sure Apple tells the truth in the future.

And what a noble purpose that is, in the immortal words of Triumph The Insult Dog, "for me to poop on." We can only hope that, if he wins, Brian Kabateck uses his cut of the money to raise awareness of these issues, help poor people and cure cancer.

Maybe it's time to start dismissing this kind of "Let's Get a Big Chunk of the Rich Corporation Shareholder's Money" just because we can. What do you think? Do you think the iMacs show such a difference? And even if there's one measurable one, does Apple text seem misleading to you?

Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, March 31 /PRNewswire/ — Apple deceptively marketed its new 20-inch iMac in a way that grossly inflated the capabilities of its monitor, which is vastly inferior to the previous generation it replaced, according to a federal class action lawsuit filed today by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP.

According to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose, Apple is deceiving consumers by concealing that the new 20-inch iMac monitors are inferior to the previous generation's and those of the new 24-inch iMac. In addition, the monitors are incapable of displaying "millions of colors," despite Apple's marketing claims.

Apple's newest iMac — an "all-in-one" desktop computer that combines the monitor into the same case as the CPU — was unveiled in August 2007.

"Apple is duping its customers into thinking they're buying 'new and improved' when in fact they're getting stuck with 'new and inferior,'" said Brian Kabateck, Managing Partner of Kabateck Brown Kellner. "Beneath Apple's 'good guy' image is a corporation that takes advantage of its customers. Our goal is to help those customers who were deceived and make sure Apple tells the truth in the future."

Apple told consumers that both the 20-inch and 24-inch iMacs displayed "millions of colors at all resolutions." Indeed, the new 24-inch iMacs display 16,777,216 colors on 8-bit, in-plane switching (IPS) screens, as did the previous generation of 20-inch iMacs. But the new 20-inch iMac monitors do not even come close, displaying 98% fewer colors (262,144).

While Apple describes the display of both the 24-inch and 20-inch iMacs as though they were interchangeable, the monitors in each are of radically different technology. The 20-inch iMacs feature 6-bit twisted nematic film (TN) LCD screens, the least expensive of its type.

The 20-inch iMac's TN screens have a narrower viewing angle, less color depth, less color accuracy and are more susceptible to washout across the screen.

Apple's Web site tells consumers that "No matter what you like to do on your computer — watch movies, edit photos, play games, even just view a screen saver — it's going to look stunning on an iMac."

In fact, the inferior technology of the 20-inch iMac is particularly ill-suited to editing photographs because of the display's limited color potential and the distorting effect of the color simulation processes.

"Apple is squeezing more profits for itself by using cheap screens and its customers are unwittingly paying the price," Kabateck said.

Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP is one of the nation's foremost consumer law firms. Its clients have won more than $750 million against Google, Farmer's Insurance, Eli Lilly and other major corporations. As a plaintiff's-only firm, Kabateck Brown Kellner is always on the consumers' side.