Apple devices are smaller than advertised, according to lawsuit

One of the most important selling points for Apple’s new iPhones is the screen size and pixel density, but judging by a new lawsuit, not everyone is impressed with what they got.

Apple devices are smaller than advertised, according to lawsuit

Two plaintiffs from California have accused Apple of false advertising, claiming the physical screen size and screen resolution of the iPhone X, iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have all been lower than Apple suggested. The plaintiffs aim to turn the case into a class action lawsuit, through which they could claim compensation for all iPhone customers.

The lawsuit alleges Apple inflated screen size by counting area that isn’t actually a screen, including corners and notches. Phone screen size is traditionally the length of the diagonal, between two opposite corners of the device. However this is complicated when corners are rounded, and the lawsuit suggests Apple calculated the diagonal based on non-rounded corners.

For example, the iPhone X was touted as Apple’s largest screen size at time of release, with a diagonal of 5.8 inches. However the lawsuit calculated the actual usable screen size as closer to 5.69 inches, a small but significant difference.

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In addition, the iPhones’ resolution has been called into question, as the lawsuit suggests the true number of sub pixels is off. Most phone pixels have three subpixels, for red, green and blue, however Apple’s only have two. The lawsuit claims customers would assume the iPhone pixel count includes three subpixels per pixel, and so would expect a better screen resolution than they actually got. Of course, rounded corners also means the screen resolution, which is only applicable for straight corners, doesn’t accurately represent the actual resolution.

The lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised these aspects of the phones, and it’s true the company employs the devices’ displays as important aspects of their marketing material. The 2017 iPhone X, for example, ran with the slogan “It’s all screen” – disproven by the device’s notch alone..

Apple’s lawyers aren’t having an easy time of it; this year has seen attempts to crack down on third-party repairs and possible logo-stealing to massive antitrust cases regarding its App Store monopoly and the ongoing backlash to the revelation Apple slows down older iPhone devices. However, given that few people apparently even bought the iPhone Xs, the plaintiffs may have trouble finding others to join in with the case.

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