Angry iPhone 4 Owners Sue Apple Claiming Faulty Power Button

Apple's fairly well mastered the art of planned obsolescence, whereby the company leaves out certain desirable features on new devices so that it can introduce them on a later model and entice users to upgrade (think the lack of a rear-facing camera on the original iPad), but to suggest the Cupertino outfit sells knowingly faulty products is another topic altogether. It's also the claim of a class action lawsuit filed by Debra Hilton in regards to the iPhone 4.

According to the lawsuit, Apple sold iPhone 4 models with defective power buttons to thousands of customers. Even worse, many of those affected claim their device would fail shortly after the 1-year warranty period expired, leaving them with an expensive paperweight.

iPhone 4

"The Apple iPhone 4 is plagued by a latent defect that causes its Power Button to fail, usually shortly after the 1 year warranty covering the device has expired, thereby rendering the phone unusable," the lawsuit reads. "Apple knew when it manufactured, marketed, and sold the device that this defect existed, but failed to disclose it, instead touting the purported superior attributes of the telephone in Apple's various advertisements and marketing campaigns."

The problem supposedly relates to the shifting of a flex cable connected to the power button. If it wiggles free, users are unable to power on/off their iPhone 4, resulting in a $150 replacement fee when out of the warranty period.

Hilton and her lawyer, who are suing Apple under the RICO statute, a federal racketeering law, are seeking $5 million from the Cupertino company on behalf of thousands of affected iPhone 4 owners. You can read the full complaint on Scribd.