Before we get into things, we think we should preface this news by saying that lawsuits are a fairly common occurrence and come in a wide range of severity when you are like Apple. This case seems to be more amusing in terms of scope and possible implications. However, because of sufficient traction, it could lead to some interesting changes in the marketing of products on a larger scale.
On Friday, a lawsuit was filed at the US District Court in Northern California by a few complainants accusing Apple of falsely advertising certain hardware aspects of iPhone X, XS and XS Max (oddly not iPhone XR). The specific problems relate to advertising and specific specifications for the well-known Retina displays. And the two plaintiffs expect to reach the status of a class action.
We definitely urge you to pass the document for yourself, as if it contains a strange mixture of sometimes logical arguments, mixed with some strange mathematics and failure to admit certain technical aspects of OLED panels. In summary, the main complaints, however, are:
- The marketing slogan of Apple ” It’s all screen ” is technically false, given that the display is clearly still surrounded by bezels and a clamp.
- I design most of Apple’s marketing materials, renders, wallpaper selection, and angles to hide the edge.
- The iPhone X advertises a 2436x 1125 pixel resolution, which is technically incorrect, as the clamped and rounded corners take about 120 vertical pixels away from the advertised resolution.
- The widest rectangular screen area usable by applications on the iPhone X is about 2195 x 1125 pixels, or about 10% less than the advertised 2436 x 1125 pixels.
- The display size is falsely advertised as being 5.8 inches, while it is actually around 5.6875 inches. Each corner cuts the diagonal by about 1/16 of an inch.
- The iPhone X display is falsely advertised to be higher than the iPhone 8 Plus display, which is not true on a sub-pixel level, as OLED pixels are ” false ” pixels and have only two sub-pixels, compared to three on the iPhone 8 Plus LCD. This works on the iPhone X with 5,481,000 subpixels compared to 6,220,800 on the iPhone 8 Plus. And this is before it takes the incorrect display resolution into account.
Now, it’s a lot of ” salt, ” if we could say so to ourselves. However, besides the funny problem with the OLED sub-pixel count and estimates of ” usable ” rectangular areas, some valid points about misleading advertising appear to exist. Let’s say the choice of promotional renders and wallpapers by Apple was strangely convenient to completely mask the trick.
That said, this lawsuit may not be a total wash, especially regarding PR and advertising in the industry. What do you think about the issues?