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Apple, the world's most successful brand, is being sued by a Los Angeles law firm for "deceptively" marketing the new 20-inch iMac

Kabateck Brown Kellner says the monitor is "vastly inferior to the previous generation it replaced", not that you would know it from Apple's "grossly inflated" claims.

According to the law firm, Apple told consumers 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.

Why does hundreds of thousands, rather than millions, of colours merit a class action? According to KBK, the new 20-inch iMac, the one launched in August 2007, is:

particularly ill-suited to editing photographs because of the display's limited color potential and the distorting effect of the color simulation processes.

KBK has filed suit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose - in Apple's home turf. Boy are these guys tough, riding shotgun into Silicon Valley, where Apple is a religion, and Steve Jobs is God.

Now for some pleasantly cheap shots from Brian Kabateck of KBK:

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

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

All very philanthropic, especially coming from a firm that has trousered $750m, some of it for clients, in plaintiff litigation. ®

KBK's press release is here. ®

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