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Wednesday, August 20, 2008, 03:50 pm PT (06:50 pm ET)

Class action suit claims Apple deceived over iPhone 3G speeds

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday by an Alabama woman alleges that Apple has touted doubled Internet speeds with iPhone 3G when a rash of connection problems have made those speeds seemingly impossible to reach.

In the 10-page complaint, Jessica Smith of Birmingham asserts that Apple's marketing campaign is a breach of express warranty as it promises Internet access "twice as fast" as with the original where the practical experience has fallen well short of the mark.

Always referring to the device as the "Defective iPhone 3G," Smith and her legal team assert that e-mail, text, and most other downloads were considerably slower than what Apple promised. This in no small part stemmed from the reliability of the connection: the device would connect to 3G less than a quarter of the time to 3G even in areas AT&T says should provide "excellent" coverage, according to the lawsuit.

The connection problem has also resulted in an "inordinate" number of dropped phone calls, the filing adds.

Smith is also certain she isn't alone and appears to rely on Internet reports as support for the class action nature of the suit. As there have been many complaints of slowdowns or outright connection problems with the phone, the complaint reads, the number of affected users is said to potentially run into the "tens of thousands." It's thus seen as more accurate and more comprehensive to represent all those iPhone owners in a single suit than to deal with individual cases.

To compensate for Apple's purportedly false advertising, Smith and those who may join her suit would receive damages and also order the Cupertino, Calif.-based company to either fix iPhones or replace them if necessary.

Apple has kept to its longstanding silence on legal matters and hasn't commented on the pioneering lawsuit, which is the first to tackle iPhone connection woes; however, Apple has confirmed that its recent iPhone 2.0.2 update addresses some of the problems.