This is a class action lawsuit brought by Plaintiff on behalf of a nationwide class of individuals who purchased an Apple product that came equipped with the Apple Lightning connector (“Lightning”) from Defendant, Apple, Inc. (“Apple” or “Defendant”). To date, the Apple products that can be charged and connected to the computer exclusively by the Lightning include: the iPhone 5, iPad (fourth generation), iPad Mini, iPod Nano (seventh generation), and iPod Touch (fifth generation) (collectively “Apple devices”).
As alleged, on September 12, 2012, Apple introduced Lightning as the new cable used to charge and synchronize content for its new hardware devices, including the highly anticipated iPhone 5, which sold in excess of five million units over the weekend following its launch. In its official press release materials on September 12, 2012, Apple touted the new Lightning cable as being “designed for today’s uses” and “smaller, smarter and more durable than the previous connector.”
Based upon Apple’s representations, Plaintiff and members of the Class purchased the new Apple devices with the Lightning connectors. However, contrary to Apple’s representations, advertisements, and statements, the Lightning is defective and is prone to fraying, breakage, deterioration, and failure, and does substantially fray, break, deteriorate, and fail.
In particular, the Lightning end that plugs into the Apple device deteriorates, externally and/or internally, to such a degree so as to make charging the Apple device completely impossible, or possible only by positioning the cord in a specific manner, using electric tape, or something similar, to hold the Lightning cable together, or other means to maintain the connection and angle between the Lightning and the Apple device. The deterioration can and does become so severe that the exposed wires of the eroded Lightning create a safety hazard. These exposed wires have led to sparks and fires, endangering the health and safety of consumers and the public.
The defect in the Lightning renders it unsuitable for its principal and intended purpose; namely, being the exclusive means for synchronizing data for and charging the battery of the associated Apple devices. The consistent failure of the Lightning leaves consumers with useless, expensive Apple devices, unless and until they purchase a replacement Lightning. Due to the Lightning’s proprietary nature, consumers are forced to purchase replacements directly from Apple, the sole manufacturer of the Lightning, in order to recharge and continue using their Apple devices.