Apple and AT&T are the target of a second US class-action lawsuit over claims the two companies failed to tell the first iPhone buyers that annual fees of more than $100 would be needed to replace the iPhone battery and maintain service.
Filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California by Sydney Leung, the suit seeks more than $5m in compensatory and punitive damages. A court conference on the matter was set for 28 November.
The nine-page complaint was filed on behalf of Leung by Oakland-based attorney H Tim Hoffman, and argues that Apple and AT&T committed fraud by not fully informing customers about the costs and procedures for replacing the battery. The complaint argues that the battery "must" be replaced after 300 charges, anticipating a replacement at one year or less by a qualified technician, since the battery sits inside a sealed compartment.
A similar class-action suit was filed by Jose Trujillo of Melrose Park, Illinois in July.
Leung purchased two iPhones for $599 (£300) each on 29 June in San Francisco, the first day they went on sale, and was required to agree to a two-year service plan with AT&T. Leung "was not informed at the time of purchase of the costs and procedures for replacing the battery," the suit says. The suit seeks answers to whether Apple and AT&T "should have known that the time and expense of replacing the iPhone battery would affect initial sales of the iPhone".
Apple did not respond immediately to the lawsuit, and AT&T said it would not comment.
In its defence, Apple has stated on its website that the lithium-ion battery when properly maintained will hold up to 80% of its full charge at 400 charge and discharge cycles.
Also, Apple covers replacement of the battery for a full year and also has a protection plan for $69 for two years of repair coverage for the iPhone including the battery.
Replacing a battery out of warranty costs $79, plus $6.95 for shipping.
In early July, a US consumer watchdog group, the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights, urged Apple to spell out its battery replacement policy for prospective buyers.