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iPhone 4 power button issues subject of new RICO lawsuit

The iPhone 4 power button has been a contentious issue, one which is being alleged to be a RICO violation, according to a newly filed lawsuit.

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Allegations of Apple violating RICO laws

Debra Hilton, a Florida woman, has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute in regards to a faulty power button on the iPhone 4.

The complaint claims that Apple both knew of the issues with the power button (most notably the flex cable connecting the button) causing the button to prevent the phone from being locked or powered off, and remained silent about the issue in order to sell more devices and require $149 service repairs on the device after the one year warranty expires, which seemed to correspond with the timeframe of the power button’s malfunction.

Power button issues not uncommon

Issues with the power button have been noted by many of Apple’s consumers, who have posted complaints on Apple’s own forums, and even by some who have created entire videos on fixing the problems related with the iPhone.

Hilton’s complaint seeks $5 million in compensation for iPhone 4 consumers who have experienced the same issue. The complaint reads:

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“Despite touting the iPhone as a technological marvel…[it] has suffered, from a latent defect in a relatively simple component… Each iPhone 4 contains a flex cable that connects the power button to the phone. Premature deterioration of the cable causes the power button the become harder and harder to depress until eventually it becomes entirely unresponsive…”

Problem for Apple?

The complaint additionally mentions how the failure of this component of the device makes it essentially unusable, and that failure of the component seems to predominantly occur around an 18 month interval from the devices activation, causing it to fall outside of the 12 month warranty period offered by Apple.

The complaint addresses the concept that Apple knew beforehand about the defects and remained silent by utilizing hundreds of complaints posted on the official Apple forums from people who experience the same issue and have received no response from an Apple representative.

Apple has not yet made a response or comment for or against the allegations.

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