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Lawsuit Claims Apple Lied About Its Display and Shady Marketing Obscured the Notch

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Another day, another Apple lawsuit.

A freshly filed lawsuit is taking aim at Apple’s questionable marketing of its iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max by claiming, among other things, that the company misled its consumers about display specs and pixel counts as well as obscured the notch on its newer phones with deceptive wallpapers. In the suit filed in the Northern District of California on Friday, two plaintiffs allege that the phones are not, in fact, “all screen” as advertised.

“The screen size deception is simply based on Apple cutting corners — Defendant rounds off the corners of the Products’ screens and the Products have notches without pixels at the top of their screens, but Defendant calculates the screen size of the Products by including non-screen areas such as the corners and the cut-out notch at the top of the screen,” the lawsuit states. “The missing screen areas also reduce the false pixel counts of the Products’ screens below their advertised pixel counts.”

By not accounting for those clipped corners and notch cut-outs, Apple misrepresented displays by “about 1/16 of an inch,” the suit claims. The lawsuit also states that one of the plaintiffs “believed that the iPhone XS and XS Max would not have a notch at the top of the phone” because of the way it was depicted in marketing materials—which, honestly, kind of makes sense.

Image for article titled Lawsuit Claims Apple Lied About Its Display and Shady Marketing Obscured the Notch
Image: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

Lawsuits against Apple crop up semi-frequently, but this one makes an interesting case for Apple’s alleged shady marketing of its newer models. As some pointed out earlier this year, the partly black backgrounds that Apple chose for its iPhone XS and XS Max in marketing materials and on displays essentially made the notch disappear.


Back in September, Gizmodo wrote that a case could be made that Apple was being coy about the notch by choosing a background that obviously obscured the feature; similarly, however, the decision maybe could’ve been an oversight on the part of the company (though it’s Apple we’re talking about here).

The lawsuit is currently seeking class action status. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment about the suit.


So, yet another frivolous lawsuit, or worthwhile consumer advocacy in holding companies to their marketing?