Palm sued over handheld claims

Hardware maker Palm Inc. is the target of a class-action lawsuit filed last week by two customers after the company revealed that one of its handheld devices couldn't display as many colours as advertised.

The suit, filed last Thursday in the Superior Court of the State of California County of Santa Clara, alleges that Palm used "fraudulent, unfair, deceptive and false advertising" to market its m130 handheld.

Palm had marketed the m130 as a device that could display more than 65,000 colours, a screen display targeted for use with 16-bit applications. Earlier this month the company disclosed that the m130 actually used a display designed for 12-bit applications, but used a technique known as "dithering" to produce 58,621 colour combinations. Dithering involves blending nearby pixels to create the appearance of more colours. Palm had apologized to customers about the colour fiasco when it was first revealed, but hadn't determined how or if it would compensate customers who purchased the m130 under false pretenses, Marlene Somsak, a spokeswoman for Palm said in an earlier interview. The company couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

Two defendants who are named in the class-action case -- Jonathan Lipner, of Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, and Yansu Ouyang, of Castro Valley, California -- argue in a filing with the court that the marketing mishap reveals a pattern of unfair and deceptive marketing practices by the Milpitas, California, hardware maker. Defendants are seeking refunds for all customers who purchased an m130, attorney fees as well as an undetermined reward for damages, according to the text of the lawsuit.

It is estimated that Palm has sold 400,000 m130 devices worldwide since it was released in March, according to Todd Kort, principal analyst with Dataquest Inc., a division of research company Gartner Inc. He noted that the shortage of colours would not be apparent to most customers and was likely not intentional.

"It's not a huge problem but its always disconcerting when some company is found misrepresenting it's products," Kort said.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Berger

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?