Apple Faces Lawsuit Targeted At iPhones With Faulty Power Buttons


According to a new GigaOm report, Apple has been sued over defective power buttons on its iPhone 4 handsets. The national class action suit, filed by California resident Debra Hilton, alleges that Apple knew about the defective power button in “thousands” of iPhone 4 handsets sold to customers, but the company neglected to do anything about it.


The lawsuit notes that Apple knew about a defect in a flex cable that controls the on-off button, but chose to stay quiet about it. Hilton also points to Apple discussion forums as evidence, on which many users have complained about “wiggly” power buttons. After roughly a year’s usage, the time around which the iPhone’s warranty expires, she claims that the button eventually becomes unresponsive, failing to lock or turn off the phone when pressed.

As evidence, she points to Apple discussion forums viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors on which users complain of “wiggly” power buttons. Hilton also points to a fix-it video on YouTube and comments by a self-described iPhone repairman who says the power button defect is prevalent on the iPhone 4 which went on sale in 2010.

The lawsuit claims that the defect typically arises shortly after one year at which point the warranty has expired, forcing consumers to pay $149 for repairs.

Have you noticed anything similar with your iPhone 4’s power button?


  • MikeJenkinson

    This is exactly what happened to my iPhone 4’s power button after about 13 or 14 months when it was out of warranty. I turned on the Assistive Touch option to get me through it. Any way I can join this lawsuit?

  • Philippe

    Same here, but after 20 months, mine lost his ability to “click”, it always stays depressed. So I have to press it really hard to power it off. I want to join the lawsuit too!

  • Ben Balkwill

    This happened to my 4s after a little over a year. I had to to pay for a replacement phone since it was off warranty. I asked them how I would turn my phone on if it was turned off … they didn’t have an answer for me and happily charge me for the replacement.

  • we have 3 iphone4, and one iphone 4s in our house hold, used constantly, never had any of these issues. The suit will fail because they will have a hard time proving prior knowledge to the defect. The only way, is if there are internal memos that mention it and they are able to get them. Other then that, don’t see any hope, especially against Apple’s lawyers, remember they won against bigger fish then this gal and her crew.

  • Daniel Lee

    My iPhone 4 does not have this problem, have had it for over a year, but I am generally careful with my electronics. One of my co-workers has this problem. I believe it is a factor of poor design and general ware and tear. It should be covered by apple.

  • Leo

    I had it happen to my iPhone 5 and got a swap under warranty

  • xxxJDxxx

    I had a similar problem with my iPhone 4. The power button would stay depressed and I would have to push it really hard to get it to work. I eventually upgraded to the iPhone 5 though.

  • This happened to my iPhone 4. I had it a year and a half then one day the button just sunk into the phone, I basically couldn’t turn it on or off. I had to pay to swap it. The Apple Genius told me it was a “known defect” yet I was still charged 200$ for a refurb!

  • Acer12345

    Had two iPhone 4’s that had this problem, glad to see it’s a big issue and people are doing something about it.

  • Ray

    Just because you dnt have an issue with the phones doesn’t mean the issue doesn’t exist. Just look at the apple forum. I have a 4s the power button stopped working a few months after the warranty was up and they want $99 to replace it. Also, there probably is enough for them to file the firm wouldn’t waste resources in a hopeless case, remember class action lawsuits are contingency based. They are probably looking for a settlement.

  • I never had this power button problem with my iPhone 4. But what I did have was the Home button crapping out after a year. Apple Retail did nothing to help my situation.

  • Not really sure, since it’s a lawsuit taking place in the USA.

  • Makool

    2 iPhones 4 with the issue, apple store wanted me to charge to fix it, sadly 1 month after my warranty expired in both phones I wish they can do something to get them fix somehow.