Apple Hit With 3G iPhone Lawsuit

Amid growing criticism from 3G iPhone customers, a class action complaint was filed against Apple Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alabama.

The lawsuit alleges that despite aggressive marketing that the 3G iPhone is "twice as fast for half the price," the much-hyped smartphone is actually much slower than advertised and prone to dropping calls.

"Apple sold these devices on the promise that they were twice as fast as the pre-existing phones and that they would function suitably, or properly, on the 3G network. But, thus far, Apple and the phone have failed to deliver on this promise," Jonathan Kudulis, an attorney with Birmingham, Ala.-based Trimmier Law Firm, told ABCNEWS.com. Trimmier is the firm representing the Ala.-based plaintiff, Jessica Alena Smith.

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But Kudulis says, because the complaint was only filed yesterday, Apple has not yet been officially served with the lawsuit.

Apple does not comment on pending litigation, a company spokeswoman said.

This is not the first time the California-based company has had to defend itself against class action lawsuits brought by dissatisfied customers.

Following the release of its first-generation iPhone, in 2007, Apple was hit with class action suits filed in Illinois and California because of its reported short battery life. The suit filed in California was ultimately withdrawn. The Illinois case is still pending. Apple has moved to dismiss the case but the judge has not yet issued a ruling.

In 2005, Apple compensated some owners of first- and second-generation iPods with $50 of in-store credit or $25 cash to settle yet another class-action suit over the issue of batteries in an earlier edition of the iPod.

Earlier this week, as customers complaints ran rampant, Apple released a software update for the 3G iPhone on iTunes.

The software, called iPhone OS 2.0.2, is for "bug fixes," but whether that includes the problems customers described to ABCNews.com is unclear.

So far, Apple has not released a statement elaborating on the software update.

The company has been tight-lipped, at least to reporters, about complaints of spotty service and potential hardware flaws on the new smart phone.

Last week, a company spokeswoman declined to answer ABC News' questions about widely reported dropped calls, slow Web access and lack of access to AT&T's 3G network voiced by readers to ABCNews.com.

In recent weeks, customer complaints about the new smart phone have reached a fever pitch, even on Apple's own Web site.

When 48-year-old Doug Clements, a retired "refugee" from the computer industry and a decades-long Apple fan, started a thread this week on Apple's discussion board describing his difficulties with the phone, he was surprised at the response he got.

Thousands of people from around the world replied to "iPhone 3G Reception Problems? You're Not Alone" to describe similar problems accessing the 3G network.

"I was just shocked that that many people replied," he said. "I am a true Apple fan, so this is nothing to make Apple look bad. … I think Apple should come out and tell people what's going on with these phones."

That "What's going on?" sentiment was echoed by readers from California to Germany, who related similar stories to ABCNews.com.

Dropped Calls, Cell Phone Service

Ambar Kulkarni, a 33-year-old software developer in Alpharetta, Ga., and his wife have experienced problems with their matching 3G iPhones. His biggest complaint? Dropped calls.

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