Apple: iPhone Plaintiffs Ignored Warranty Rules

Apple contends a lawsuit by two iPhone users alleging faulty handsets and poor-service quality should be dismissed, saying the plaintiffs had not properly followed its warranty claim requirements.

In a motion filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) said the users, Jessica Alena Smith and Wilton Lee Triggs, failed to make a warranty claim for a repair, replacement or refund, which had been stipulated as part of Apple’s one-year limited warranty provision.

Apple also cited a state warranty law that requires buyers to notify companies of product issues before taking court action. Apple said that by taking legal action, the Smith and Triggs breached signed warranty contracts.

The suit, initially filed by Smith on Aug. 19 and later joined by Triggs, was to continue today in court. Both Apple and the plaintiffs asked for the proceedings to be pushed back until November, citing scheduling conflicts.

Apple told that it does not comment on current litigation. Jonathan Kudulis, a lawyer with Trimmier Law Firm, representing the two plaintiffs, did not return phone calls by press time.

In their suit, Smith and Triggs contend that the iPhone 3G each bought this summer failed to deliver on Apple’s advertised promises of faster connectivity through AT&T’s 3G network. Court documents cite excessive dropped calls and calls for “significant monetary and non-monetary damages” due to the “defective” devices.

The lawsuit was filed amid a flurry of user complaints following the iPhone 3G debut early this summer. Users have also complained about Apple’s MobileMe online service as well as device software glitches.

In response Apple pushed out a iPhone fix, launched a blog to address MobileMe’s issues and provide service status updates, and gave users 90 days of free service.

Industry watchers have said AT&T’s network glitches may be why Research in Motion’s Bold smartphone has been delayed.

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