Apple has been served with a lawsuit over the quality of its laptop screens. Two Californians filed suit against Apple over the MacBook LCD displays. Fred Greaves and Dave Gatley want a judge to rule their claims a class action.

Filed on 3 May in a California, US, state court, the lawsuit charges Apple with falsely advertising MacBook and MacBook Pro displays as able to produce "millions" of colours.

"The reality is ... the displays are only capable of displaying the illusion of millions of colours through the use of a software technique referred to as 'dithering'," the suit claims.

Greaves and Gatley claim that Apple's MacBook screens look "grainy" and sometimes "sparkly". They claim that the LCD displays show gradient banding and distracting lines.

The lawsuit does include statements saying that in some applications the Apple MacBook display deficiencies are unnoticeable, but it also charges that "users who rely on the accuracy of displays for various graphics uses, such as photography, find that the colour displays ... are unreliable."

Rubbing further salt into Apple's wound, the claimants say that when Microsoft's Windows XP on the same system (using Apple's Boot Camp dual-boot software) "all resolution levels [are] superior to the display that those same computers display using Apple's OS operating system".

"Here is the irony ... if I boot into XP using Boot Camp, the dithering and banding and noise goes away," according to a MacBook and MacBook Pro owner whose online comments were cited in the lawsuit.

"The screens look beautiful in XP (on both the MB and MBP) ... so there is a possibility that this is some sort of driver issue, but why wouldn't Apple just step up and fix it instead of dragging this out for all of us that bought the high end machines???"

The lawsuit also alleges that when display problems were reported to Apple, company representatives "chastised" users, who "were told that they were imagining the complained-about defects". It also claimed that Apple purged posts on its own support message forums that were critical of display quality.

The Apple discussion thread cited in the lawsuit was not available yesterday and returned the message "Error: you do not have permission to view the requested forum or category" when an attempt to access it was made.

Greaves and Gatley asked that a judge rule the lawsuit suitable for a class action, which could lead to wide-ranging restitution and/or other damages from Apple. A copy of the Apple MacBook LCD screen lawsuit can be viewed here.

Apple officials did not reply to a request for comment.

Latest Apple news on PC Advisor

Apple is Europe's largest education vendor

iTunes and DRM-free music explained

Apple's iPhone won't work in Europe