Aside from the satisfaction of winning, prevailing in a class action lawsuit against Apple doesn't accomplish much of anything. Take the litigious complaint against Apple for "antennaegate," which recently concluded with Apple owing those affected either $15 or a bumper case, which retails for about $2.00 on Amazon.com. Those prizes don't exactly match the fury that surrounded the initial complaining, which prompted Steve Jobs to call a press conference and address the issue. And a year and a half later, with a whole new iPhone out, it doesn't seem to matter anymore.
The gadget and lawsuit industries run at very different paces. Technology evolves quickly; litigation does not. Those affected by antennaegate would have appreciated replacements back in the summer of 2010. But now, it's moot. Apple already resolved the issue back then, responding with an explanation and fixing it with a software update. The dissatisfied returned their defective phones or maybe upgraded to the 4S. Those who filed a lawsuit, however, had to wait a year and a half for a solution, which in the end didn't solve anything, but rather provided a petty peace offering.
A similar situation played out with Apple's computer charger fray problem. Those looking for litigation therapy filed against Apple for their defective computer cords. As a result of that suit, it now has a cord replacement program for the MagSafe products. That sounds like more of a "solution" that the recent conclusion to antennagate. But, the courtesy would have been more appreciate when Apple still made those types of power adapters, before people like this blogger bought $80.00 replacement cords. It has since upgraded to an L-shaped product, which doesn't have this fray issue -- a better, quicker, solution to this tech problem.
Some suers, however, aren't looking for a technical solution. And for them, the legal route provides a type of fulfillment a new power cord or fixed antenna could never accomplish. For these litigious types, it's worth taking the time (and money) to win a class action against Apple. And, we guess we're thankful for those types of people. Because of them, we're getting an unexpected $15 check. (Don't go for the bumper option, it's a big fat ripoff.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.