Samsung tries to hide burnt Galaxy S4 and miserably fails

Samsung Galaxy S4 S 4 FlatMeet Richard Wygand. When his Galaxy S4 suddenly caught fire while charging, he reached out to Samsung to get his smartphone replaced. As you might expect, the South Korean company respectfully asked for proof of the incident. Fair enough. But when Richard followed up on that request, posting video evidence of the melted Galaxy S4 on YouTube, Samsung responded with legal jargon that attempted to sweep the issue under the rug.

In return for agreeing to replace the Galaxy S4 with a “similar model,” Samsung explicitly demanded that Richard remove the above YouTube video from his channel. The document also prohibited him from making any future videos or statements about the burnt smartphone, in addition to releasing the consumer electronics maker from holding any liability for the situation. So what did Richard do? He posted another video, alongside a full copy of the legal document Samsung wanted him to sign.

Checkmate, Samsung. The second video, in which Richard vents about the company mishandling an important safety issue, has gone on to accumulate close to 500,000 views in just four days — about four times the number of views on the first video. If Samsung didn’t know what the Streisand effect is before, they certainly do now. And just when we thought Samsung was doing marketing right.

[The Daily Dot]

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iPhone user suing Apple because iOS 7 installed automatically

iPhone 5S FrontLast month, Apple announced that over 200 million devices had already been updated to iOS 7. One of those devices happens to be owned by Mark Menacher, a California man that has filed a small-claims complaint against Apple after the latest software update automatically downloaded on to his family’s iOS devices.

“Apple’s disregard for customer preferences in relation to iOS7 is corporate thuggery,” Menacher said in a statement. “Steve Jobs was reportedly rough on company employees in pursuit of happy customers, but Tim Cook apparently cultivates a culture of contempt for customer satisfaction in pursuit of corporate profits. It is a policy that will eventually fail.”

Menacher, who also took this issue to the Better Business Bureau, is looking for Apple to remove the file that prompts users to update. He is also demanding $50 as part of the settlement. The resident of Poway, California is considering taking the case to a higher-level court, and may seek class action status if there is enough support.

There is one word for this lawsuit, and that is ridiculous. While the notice of a new iOS version is displayed each time an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is rebooted, it will not automatically update without express user permission. If someone is stupid enough to allow the update, then maybe an iPhone or iPad isn’t meant for him or her.

[CNET]

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Apple, DOJ Submit Closing Arguments in E-Book Price Fixing Trial

gavel court

Apple has been fighting charges from the Department of Justice alleging that the Cupertino company was the “ringmaster” in an attempt to collaborate with publishers to raise the price of e-books in the United States. Such behavior, if proven to be actually have occurred, is considered monopolistic in the U.S., which would then lead to Apple being found guilty and fined for their actions.

A report from AllThingsD summarizes the argument presented to District Judge Denise Cote by Apple’s lead counsel, Orin Snyder: (more…)

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Antennagate is Finally Over

check-iphone-4-settlement

Remember that time when late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said an iconic phrase that went something along the lines of, “you’re holding it wrong”? The year was 2010, and Apple had just recently debuted its flagship iPhone 4 that June. Unfortunately, due to an engineering mishap, the handset suffered from a major cellular data connection problem. Essentially, if you held the iPhone in your hand and gripped the sides in a certain way, the smartphone would instantly drop in bars and lose its reception.

The situation caused a lot of backlash from the Apple community, but Jobs and company refused to believe that the problem was as big as people made it out to be. Instead, they held a press conference where Jobs made that aforementioned remark, and offered affected customers with an opportunity to get a free “Bumper” case for their device. A year later, Apple would fix the problem when it released the iPhone 4S with changes to its antennuation. But not before a class action lawsuit was filed against Apple and won, and those people are finally getting their $15 checks. And that’s that.

[9to5Mac]

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Samsung Accused of False Advertising

Samsung Galaxy S4 Front Facing

Samsung faces allegations that it slandered HTC while promoting its own mobile phones.

Samsung has spent hundreds of millions of dollars towards its extensive advertising and marketing campaigns over the last few years, to both promote its Galaxy lineup of products and to shed the viewpoint that the company is simply an Apple copycat.

The South Korean consumer electronics maker might have gone one step too far in Taiwan, however, where it has been accused of hiring students to post articles online that slander Taiwanese competitor HTC while simultaneously promoting Samsung mobile phones.

Samsung has admitted at least partial fault, but has not outlined any specific allegations that it violated. In a statement issued to the media, the company merely claims that the situation “occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental [marketing] principles.”

The company could be slapped with an $835,000 fine if it is found guilty of these allegations, which the Fair Trade Commission is currently investigating. In the meantime, Samsung Taiwan has halted all online marketing, including the posting of articles on websites.  (more…)

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Apple Paying Out $53 Million Following False Water Damage Accusations

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Have you ever provided Apple with an iPhone or iPod touch for warranty-related purposes, only to be denied coverage due to a falsely-activated water damage indicator? For a number of years, this is how Apple dealt with iOS devices that required servicing. If the litmus paper indicator in the headphone jack of an original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS or first- through third-generation iPod touch had turned red, which typically indicates that the device has come in contact with or been submerged in water, you were out of luck getting any official warranty coverage from Apple.

Apple changed this particular policy in 2010, but a number of consumers were still understandably upset. The result was a class action lawsuit, filed around the same time Apple changed its methods, that has officially culminated in a $53 million settlement that Apple will be paying out to consumers that believe they were stripped of their one-year or two-year warranty agreements. It’s important to note that this settlement does not apply to anyone with a water damaged device, but rather those that were denied warranty service on it.

Apple does not admit any wrongdoing.

[Wired via MacRumors]

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PSA: Don’t Check Maps While You’re Driving

Google Maps Car

Just in case you thought that attempting to navigate Google Maps on your smartphone while driving on the freeway was acceptable, a United States court has ruled that the action is unlawful. According to Hon. W. Kent Hamlin, presiding over a California appeals court, viewing maps on your mobile phone is an issue because of the hands-on use that is required to perform such an action.

Most new vehicles come equipped with a touchscreen satellite navigation system nowadays anyways, but this ruling now sets a precedent across the United States for usage of Google Maps and the likes in your hands while operating a motor vehicle. Do you agree that trying to tap, swipe or navigate Google Maps on your smartphone while behind the wheel should be banned?

[Gizmodo]

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Apple Loses iPhone Trademark in Brazil, Shockingly Appeals Decision

gavel court

Because the constant flow of legal news surrounding Apple and other industry giants makes for some of the most interesting and rewarding reading in the smartphone industry, it’s worth sharing that Apple today lost the exclusive iPhone trademark in Brazil.

This comes after Android manufacturer Gradiente took Apple to court over the Cupertino company’s exclusive trademark over the “iPhone” brand. Gradiente registered the “iPhone” name as a trademark back in 2000, seven years before Apple’s smartphone was unveiled.

This means that, at the moment, Apple can continue to sell the iPhone in Brazil. (more…)

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Tim Cook Ordered to Provide Deposition in Anti-Trust Case

Tim-Cook-CEOA group of five former employees at large tech corporations, including Apple, Google and Intel, have filed a civil lawsuit in a U.S. district court in San Jose, California, alleging illegal practises that helped to eliminate competition for employees between the companies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to provide deposition in the anti-trust case, which could turn into a class-action lawsuit. Apple attorneys argued that Cook played no role in this hiring debacle, as he was still COO under Steve Jobs at the time.

Koh fired back, claiming that it is “hard to believe a COO would have no say over salary and compensation for all employees.” Cook will now be forced to answer questions posed by plaintiff attorneys for four hours, alongside several other high-profile tech executives such as Intel chief executive Paul Otellini. Just another Silicon Valley legal hiccup.

[Reuters]

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Apple Leads Purchase of Kodak’s $525M Patent Portfolio

Earlier this year, the once popular photography company Kodak filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy after posting losses for nearly five consecutive years. It was later discovered that Kodak would be selling off its large digital imaging patent portfolio, and that deal has now been completed with a consortium consisting of 12 licensees for $525 million.

Apple and Google are among the dozen licensees involved in the deal, according to the official court documentation filed by Kodak on Wednesday. Other heavyweights in the tech industry, including Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, HTC, Microsoft, RIM and Samsung, are also named. Fujifilm, Shutterfly Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. round off the twelve licensees.

While these patents will certainly help each company better protect itself in the courtroom, hopefully we don’t see an increase in patent litigation because of these Kodak patents changing hands. The consumer electronics industry is already plagued by too many legal battles between companies, highlighted by the Apple-Samsung legal battle. One can only hope that we won’t have to hear about any more lawsuits.

[TechCrunch]

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