Apple really is finding itself embroiled in more than a few lawsuits these days. Once, I would have chalked such legal issues up to the Apple user culture. Back when I was a Maclot, I felt entitled to a more competitive degree of quality what with the significant extra costs going Apple entails, but these days evidence indicates there simply are quite pervasive quality issues Apple needs to work out.
Back in 2001 Apple initiated a power adapter recall for more than 500,000 power adapters sold between 1998 and 2000. According to the Consumer Product Safety Division, the adapters could get too hot, causing fires and what have you. I had a 1999 WallStreet that fell into this category, and happily receieved a replacement adapter at Apple’s cost. I didn’t think much of it either, chalking it up to an Apple fluke. (Incidentally, the power adapter I receieved was an iBook yo-yo style adapter that didn’t really fit the PowerBook. It looked like someone had used a pair of pliers to pry the width of the plug out a bit so it would fit into the PowerBook, leaving an ugly gap in the plug.)
Fast forward to 2005. Recently in the mail, I received two district court documents from California. It turns out that Apple is being hit quite hard with class action lawsuits, one regarding the iPod, the other a power adapter fiasco redux. Even more telling are the lawsuit settlement notices that greet every visitor to apple.com. The iPod lawsuit is about (surprise surprise) the battery replacement issues, the other that the replacement power adapter also failed.
Beleagured? Hardly. The iPod has proven to be hugely successful, with more iPods sold than Macs.