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Apple sued over hot iPad shutdowns

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Apple's iPad can shut down if it gets too hot, and Jacob Baltazar, Claudia Keller, and John Browning are as mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.

Those unhappy iPadders have filed suit against Apple — and they're asking the court to elevate their claim to class-action status.

Their lawsuit, filed in the US District Court, Northern District of California, alleges that "the iPad overheats so quickly under common weather conditions that it does not function for prolonged use either outdoors, or in many other warm conditions."

Your Reg reporter notes that his iPad has never suffered from this alleged failing — although he hastens to add that during this typically frigid summer in fog-bound San Francisco, "warm conditions" are few and far between.

Baltazar et al are miffed that "the iPad is virtually unusable when sitting in particular environmental conditions (e.g., in direct sunlight with virtually any ambient air temperature) since it turns off, sometimes after just a few minutes of use."

The suit snippily observes that "according to the www.apple.com website, '[r]reading on iPad is just like reading a book.' However, contrary to this promise, using the iPad is not 'just like reading a book' at all since books do not close when the reader is enjoying them in the sunlight or in other normal environmental environments. This promise, like other portions of APPLE's marketing material for the iPad, is false."

The Reg pauses to consider the lovely phrase "environmental environments", then moves on...

The complaint asks for no specific damages, but otherwise leaves few legal stones unturned: relief is sought based on ten "Causes of Action", including fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive advertising practices, unjust enrichment, breach of both express and implied warranties, and violations of California's Consumer Legal Remedies, Unfair Competition, and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty acts.

The plaintiffs' lawyers, Scott Cole & Associates, are similarly fastidious in bolstering their case: they've set up a website called — what else? — ipadoverheating.com, to troll for more complainants. If your iPad is taking a dive when you use it under the summer sun, feel free to join the crusade.

Or not. As MacDailyNews reminds us, the iPad's "Important Product Information Guide" advises, with tradition Cupertinian disregard for both definite and indefinite articles: "Operate iPad in a place where the temperature is between 0° and 35° C (32° to 95° F). Low- or high-temperature conditions might temporarily shorten battery life or cause iPad to temporarily stop working properly."

We'll leave it to the wisdom of the court to decide: fraud, caveat emptor, or simply RTFM? ®

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