Los Angeles-based law firm King & Ferlauto LLP filed a class action suit in January, 2002 against Apple claiming that Apple misrepresented the usability of Mac OS X on certain G3-equipped computers. The partner in the firm that brought the case to court on Monday told MacCentral that the judge overseeing the case, the Hon. Victoria Chaney, has granted final approval for a settlement that will allow some owners of Mac OS X and affected machines to obtain compensation.
King & Ferlauto’s suit hinged on Apple’s description of Mac OS X as “fully optimized” for PowerPC G3-based systems, and while such systems could indeed run Mac OS X, some of those computers equipped with certain graphics chips lost their ability to run accelerated 3D graphics or QuickTime movies, as well as DVD playback. Apple later
changed the wording of documentation on its support Web site to reflect that no further development of Mac OS X graphics drivers were planned for these legacy machines.
In August, 2003, King & Ferlauto reported to MacCentral that a
conditional settlement had been reached that covered “Bondi Blue” and “Fruit”-colored tray-loading iMacs, several generations of Power Mac G3, older iBooks, and PowerBook G3s up to and including the “Lombard” series of bronze keyboard-equipped models. People entitled to compensation under the settlement included end-users in the United States who own (or owned) these machines, who purchased Mac OS X on or before May 15, 2003.
Claimants can get a refund for the cost of Mac OS X — up to US$129 for each copy of the operating system purchased for each affected computer — if they sign a certificate stating that they haven’t regularly used Mac OS X on their covered Mac model and don’t plan to in the future. Users who have made do with Mac OS X on the machines specified by the settlement can, at their option, sign up to receive a $25 e-coupon for use at the online Apple Store.
Since late October, you’ve been able to get information about the settlement through a link on Apple’s home page, which continues to be the best way to sign up or review the settlement’s details.