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Friday, December 12, 2003, 10:40 am PT (01:40 pm ET)

Owners of defective iBooks organizing class action suit against Apple

Apple Computer, Inc. may soon become the target of another class action lawsuit, AppleInsider has learned.

The news comes in wake of a similar suit, which claimed that the computer maker had promised that its Mac OS X operating system would be "fully optimized" to run on all G3 equipped Macs, but charged that such optimization was incomplete. In August, King & Ferlauto — the firm that filed on behalf of G3 user — announced that a conditional settlement has been reached in the case.

The latest complaint against Apple cites a major design flaw in the logic-boards of its popular dual USB iBook models manufactured between the years of 2001 and 2003. "They keep failing. Over and over. Sometimes a single customer can have a motherboard fail (and subsequently replaced) up to three times," according to a site dedicated to the issue.

The hardware glitch has already effected hundreds of iBook owners, most of which are reporting logic-board failures within 12-18 months of purchasing the product, although some have witnessed the problem manifested much earlier.

One online petition on the subject has already gathered over 170 signatures, while a second site, entitled BlackCider, has set a goal of obtaining endorsements from 100 individuals before proceeding further in the legal arena. A note to the sites viewers reads, "Some of you have written and asked how to start a class action suit against Apple regarding this issue. I guess we start by organizing ourselves. If you would like to become part of a class action suit against Apple regarding the issue of defective logic boards, please fill in your name, address, phone number and email address. [..] I will contact you via email if we get enough people and this moves forward."

The BlackCider site also list numerous first-hand accounts from defective iBook owners, and its creator has already received a partial response to an email sent to Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. "I received a phone-call from Apple Executive Representative 'Amy'. She said Steve Jobs had read my letter to the CEO and forwarded it to her to follow up with me. I called her back, but have not received a return call yet."

In the meantime, Apple has been replacing the logic-boards for units still covered under Apple's warranty, yet some customers complain that even the replacement boards are defective and lead to repeat repairs. To further salt the wound, Apple support technicians have been quoted as recommending the purchase of an Apple Care policy to cover future repairs of the same component failure.

To date, no official filing on the subject has been made.