Can a few bad apples -- like product quality complaints and potential lawsuits -- spoil the bunch for loyal fans of Apple Computer Inc. ahead of their biggest party of the year? As enthusiasts devoted to Apple prepare to descend on San Francisco next week for the annual Macworld conference, at least two online petitions have collected hundreds of signatures from potential plaintiffs seeking to file lawsuits over claims of defects in the iBook laptop. Another growing source of complaints surrounds Apple's wildly-popular iPod line of digital music players, which many enthusiasts believe will get an upgrade at Macworld with the introduction of smaller, less-expensive models and a range of case colors.
In California, a lawsuit seeking class-action status is expected to be filed January against the company over the claim that Apple's warranty does not run long enough to cover problems with the player's battery. Apple has won raves over the years for its sleekly designed computers. The company, with a market share of around 2 percent, is able to command higher prices due in part to Apple machines being perceived as more secure and reliable than PCs running Microsoft's Windows operating system. Taken together, both consumer campaigns against a company that prides itself on high standards for design and engineering threaten to cast a shadow over Macworld, historically a forum for Apple and its charismatic leader, Steve Jobs, to showcase new products and innovations.
News source: Reuters