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Federal judge responds to iPhone notch design lawsuit with brutal one-liner

“There doesn’t really seem to be anyone in America who seems to be concerned about it.” Ouch.

Federal judge responds to iPhone notch design lawsuit with brutal one-liner
[Illustration: FC]

Last week, a California judge responded to an Apple class action suit about Apple iPhone notch with a succinctness that shows sometimes the courts really do get it right.

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In a class action suit filed last December, plaintiffs Christian Sponchiado and Courtney Davis argued that Apple had fraudulently misrepresented the screen size and pixel count of products like the iPhone X, which, instead of being perfect rectangles, feature rounded corners and the controversial “notch” on top, a cut-out which houses a camera and depth sensor. Such would mean that a “5.8-inch” screen isn’t viewable as a true, 5.8-inch screen. (Perhaps it would be 5.798 by some measurements. I’m not getting out a ruler.)

[Photo: Apple]

Apple’s own lawyers say that Apple does disclose the few pixels lost to the curved design across its marketing. Indeed, on Apple’s own site, right now, the company offers a footnote on mentions of its Super Retina display found on the iPhone X. “The display has rounded corners that follow a beautiful curved design, and these corners are within a standard rectangle. When measured as a standard rectangular shape, the screen is 5.85 inches . . . Actual viewable area is less.”

Oakland, California, U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. appeared to side with Apple last week (though the argument is under review), offering an absolutely brutal burn of the alleged display duplicity: “There doesn’t really seem to be anyone in America who seems to be concerned about it,” said Gilliam, according to Law360.

This take is absolute perfection. Other class action lawsuits against the Cupertino company make sense: Like when Apple was found to be actively slowing down consumers’ iPhones a year into the product’s life, for instance. How many of us just didn’t get why, one day, our phone suddenly stunk? How many of us felt forced to upgrade in the next cycle as a result? How many of us went through this painfully expensive ritual multiple times? Dozens of lawsuits followed, and California judges didn’t immediately give such suits the boot—and most appear to be ongoing.

But very few people on Earth bought an iPhone X only to exclaim, “Wait, these corners are round now? I can’t see a damn thing!”

Of all of Apple’s many sins, it’s worth giving Cupertino’s rounded corners a pass.

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An earlier version of this article mistakenly said the case had been dismissed when it is actually under submission.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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