Remember last year's uproar about overheating -- and even exploding -- iPhones? This summer the offending Apple device is the iPad, as three Oakland natives have filed a lawsuit claiming that their tablets overheat too easily in the summer sun.
According to the complaint, which was filed on behalf of Jacob Baltazar, Claudia Keller and John Browning on Friday, the iPad fails to "live up to the reasonable consumer's expectations" because it "overheats so quickly under common weather conditions that it does not function for prolonged use outdoors, or in many other warm conditions."
That the iPad tends to overheat and turn itself off when exposed to direct sunlight for too long is not news. Bloggers, reviews and forum participants have been saying as much since April. But the plaintiffs are accusing Apple not only of making a defective tablet, but of false advertising.
Apple's marketing materials say that using an iPad is "just like reading a book." The complaint points out that books "do not close when the reader is enjoying them in the sunlight or in other normal environmental conditions." Fair enough, but is there actually any confusion about whether a tablet is the same thing as a book?
I probably wouldn't think twice about tossing a book in my briefcase or leaving it dangerously close to the edge of a table. And while I wouldn't mind bringing a book to the beach, I don't plan to expose any of my electronic devices to prolonged usage in the blazing sun. But maybe that's just me.
In any case, Apple clearly posts on its Web site that the suitable temperature range for operating an iPad is 32 to 95 degrees -- the same as for the iPhone.
Another fairly obvious question -- do you really want to be reading an iPad in direct sunlight? The tablet's 9.7-inch screen may look great, but the LCD technology doesn't particularly lend itself to outside viewing.In any case, the suit will generate some headlines but won't slow the iPad's momentum. As of June 10, Apple had already sold 3.27 million, and enterprises are showing a great deal of interest.