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Product complaints simmer as Macworld approaches

CNET News.com: Disgruntled Apple users get vocal as Macworld looms

Can a few bad apples—like product-quality complaints and potential lawsuits—spoil the bunch for loyal fans of Apple Computer ahead of their biggest party of the year?

As enthusiasts devoted to Apple prepare to descend on San Francisco next week for the annual Macworld conference, at least two online petitions have collected hundreds of signatures from potential plaintiffs seeking to file lawsuits over claims of defects in the iBook laptop.

Another growing source of complaints surrounds Apple’s wildly popular iPod line of digital music players, which many enthusiasts believe will get an upgrade at Macworld with the introduction of smaller, less-expensive models and a range of case colors.

In California, a lawsuit seeking class-action status is expected to be filed in January against the company over the claim that Apple's warranty does not run long enough to cover problems with the player’s battery.

I’ve had my iBook for about a week shy of two years, and though I have had a major failure—the hard drive died just four months after I bought the machine—I’m pleased with it overall. And my iPods (the 5GB I got two years ago, and the 30GB I got in July) have performed flawlessly.

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