SANDERS v. APPLE INC.
672 F.Supp.2d 978 (2009)
Chandra SANDERS,1 Keith Yonai, and Bonnier Corporation, a Florida corporation, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
APPLE INC., a California Corporation; and Does 1-250, inclusive, Defendants.
Case No. C 08-1713 JF (PVT).
United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division.
January 21, 2009.
Gregory E. Keller, Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP, Atlanta, GA, Darren T. Kaplan, Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP, Great Neck, NY, Alfredo Torrijos, Brian S. Kabateck, Richard L. Kellner, Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for Plaintiffs.
Luanne R. Sacks, DLA Piper LLP, San Francisco, CA, Mark H. Hamer, David A. Knotts, DLA Piper LLP, San Diego, CA, for Defendants.
ORDER2 GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS AND TO STRIKE WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
JEREMY FOGEL, District Judge.
Plaintiffs Chandra Sanders ("Sanders"), Keith Yonai ("Yonai"), and Bonnier Corporation ("Bonnier") (collectively, "Plaintiffs") bring this putative class action on behalf of themselves and all persons who purchased a 2007 twenty-inch Aluminum iMac desktop computer designed, manufactured, and sold by Defendant Apple Inc. ("Apple"). Apple moves to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) and to strike all of the purported class claims. The Court has considered the briefing submitted by the parties as well as the oral arguments of counsel presented at the hearing on November 14, 2008. For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted, with leave to amend.I. BACKGROUND
Apple is a leading manufacturer of personal computers and consumer electronics. One of Apple's most successful products is a personal desktop computer known as the iMac. Since its introduction in 1998, the iMac has undergone numerous revisions and updates. The most recent version of the iMac ("Aluminum iMac") was released in August 2007. Aluminum iMacs are available with a twenty-inch active-matrix liquid crystal display ("20-inch Aluminum iMac") or a twenty-four-inch active-matrix liquid crystal display ("24-inch Aluminum iMac").
The 20-inch Aluminum iMac and the 24inch Aluminum iMac utilize different technologies to display digital images. All digital images consist of pixels, the smallest components of a digitalized picture. Each pixel is comprised of three "channels," which correspond to the three main colors used to display digital images: red, blue, and green. Every channel contains a certain number of "bits"—the smallest measure of digital information. A bit can take the value of either zero or one, or "on" or "off." The particular combination of "on" and "off" bits in each channel results in the desired color of that pixel. The number of bits in each pixel determines the total number of colors a computer monitor is capable of displaying.
The 24-inch Aluminum iMac utilizes an "eight-bit" monitor, capable of displaying 16,777,216 colors.3 The previous generation of 20-inch iMacs, which the Aluminum iMacs replaced, also used an "eight-bit" monitor. However, the new 20-inch Aluminum iMac uses a "six-bit" monitor that is able to display only 262,144 colors.4 To create the same effect as the "eight-bit" monitor, the "six-bit" monitor uses color simulation processes known as "dithering," and "frame rate control" ("FRC"), which causes the brain to perceive a particular color shade by perceiving many nearly identical shades. Compl. ¶ 21. Specifically, dithering uses a combination of adjacent pixels to produce the desired shade.
Through the FRC process, a single pixel displays alternating shades of color that are almost identical to the desired shade. When run at a high speed, these processes give the illusion of the desired color shade. Plaintiffs allege that the "emulation of true colors" through dithering can cause the appearance of transverse stripes in smooth color gradients and can result in flickering on particular images. Compl. 1122. They also assert that the 20-inch Aluminum iMacs have a narrower viewing angle, less color depth and accuracy, and are more susceptible to washout across the screen. Plaintiffs contend that these flaws are "particularly crippling" when displays that use this technology are used for image and video editing. Compl. ¶ 22.