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  • What Does Class Action Suit Against Apple, AT&T Mean for iPhone Owners?



    If you've never been involved in a lawsuit, that's about to change - sort of, at least for those who have ever purchased an iPhone through AT&T, the Apple smartphone exclusive carrier in the United States. A lawsuit filed in 2007 (drum-roll please) has now been granted "class action status." In other words, this legal battle now involves anyone who has ever purchased an iPhone in the US since the device's 2007 release.

    The nature of the lawsuit is rooted in AT&T's exclusive agreement to carry the iPhone. The litigation contends that both companies (AT&T and Apple) formed a secret "monopoly" depriving millions of fair and competitive practices in the marketplace through lengthy contracts and refusals to unlock phones. Due to that apparently compelling argument, Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court in Norther California is certifying the suit's class-action status. Yes, we're all in this boat together.

    "The court has allowed (multiple) plaintiffs to represent 20 million customers who have been forced to use AT&T for iPhone voice and data service despite an agreement that allows them to terminate at any time and presumably switch carriers" Wired quotes Mark Rifkin, attorney for the plaintiffs.
    I guess we can just call him "our attorney" from now on.

    So if the suit is successful does this mean we all get a boatload of cash or at least a free bumper to mitigate the death grip on our new iPhone 4? Not so fast. Proving that Apple and AT&T formed a monopoly by attaching exclusive components to a product's release could be a monumentally difficult thing to do, say some legal experts, given the increasing nature of exclusive partnerships and offerings in the mobile space. Plenty of analysts also believe that this suit could drag on for so long that the iPhone will be available on other carriers before an outcome has even been reached.

    For now, neither Apple or AT&T is publicly commenting on the new class-action status of the lawsuit.

    Wired
    This article was originally published in forum thread: What Does Class Action Suit Against Apple, AT&T Mean for iPhone Owners? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 137 Comments
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by therandy View Post
      For someone with "2 posts" you really don't have the right to be demanding ****!
      Yeah I only have a few myself, but I've been apart of this community since the original iPhone. Never have I demanded a jailbreak...it will come out when it's ready to be released...now go back to reading multiple blogs about random dumb *** people having the release and beg them for it like the rest of the noobs! GOOD LUCK! Oh and one more thing...assholes like you keep hijacking EVERY thread on the net about this damn jailbreak, shutup and go start a blog for you and your impaitient cohorts. People like you deserve someone to handover a faux JB and it bricks your ****.

      And on topic: yes people will sue for anything now, we as Americans are lazy money hungry bastards with a ridiculous sense of "entitlement". If I have pissed you off...good

      We all need to get over ourselves!
      Some good points... Only thing is this site is not based on a hirache. Everyone has a right to post. This site isn't run from Iran or north Korea.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by listenclose View Post
      Or another option. Take them to court and win a victory for consumers everywhere. "Whiny b!tches" Made this country great you freaking idiot. Independence, civil rights, suffrage, environmental and consumer protections yup all "Whiny B!ches".
      +1 +1 +1 +1 +1

      Todays young wipper-snappers have little knowledge of the meaning of true freedom (including freedom from monopolistic predators like Apple and AT&T). Their eyes are closed believing Apple can do any darn thing Apple wants to do! NOT!!

      One day you will thank us for standing up and saying --- enough is enough!!

      If you don't agree .... that's ok too. We're also fighting for your right to disagree
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by texan View Post
      Just give me the JB!
      Give me got his neck broke trying to **** a Billy goat... Lol.

      Go get it there are a couple of sites out there that you can pay for it. Or if u need an unlock go to Germany or UK. Unlocked mine from tmobile Germany.

      Oh and for thoes that want to know. Tmobile in the US is a lot slower that ATT. Can't say crap for verizon (damn CDMA crap.. Sooo glad Europe did away from that crap yrs ago. (for the most part)).
    1. jmwerkus's Avatar
      jmwerkus -
      Quote Originally Posted by leo_3GS View Post
      JUST ANOTHER MONEY GRAB... release the god damn unlock and JB for all IOS4's ..... jesus ****.
      That's a very bad idea. If they release the bootrom hack we have the same iPod touch situation.
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PhoneLine View Post
      Amazing isn't it? Can we sue T-Mobile cause I can't get a Eric Clapton My Touch on Boost mobile too?
      you can't do that, because t-mobile will give you the unlock code fot that phone if you request it, so they do give you the choice to use it with other carriers
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mes View Post
      +1 +1 +1 +1 +1

      Todays young wipper-snappers have little knowledge of the meaning of true freedom (including freedom from monopolistic predators like Apple and AT&T). Their eyes are closed believing Apple can do any darn thing Apple wants to do! NOT!!


      One day you will thank us for standing up and saying --- enough is enough!!

      If you don't agree .... that's ok too. We're also fighting for your right to disagree

      Thank you for your service to our country... Lmao.

      Well I'm no wipper snapper at 41 yrs old. But I can say I don't believe in monitory payout. That is crap IMO. I do however believe that once a certain percentage or the contract Is up ther should unlock the phone. The deal to lock is for the cheaper price. Once the contract is fulfilled it should be unlocked.. Period dot!!!!! :-). Bought all my iPhones except the 1st and last in Germany. All were factory unlocked. Difference is in Europe there is a specific law. In the US there isn't. Perhaps there should be.
    1. Captinsmooth's Avatar
      Captinsmooth -
      It seems to me that most are missing the point that if this lawsuit is successful, it will allow for a competitive market place. Which in turn will cause lower pricing for iphone plans. This will benefit all consumers greatly.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      ... But I can say I don't believe in monitory payout. That is crap IMO ...
      This we agree 100%.

      We could hope for a complete about-face, the it's more likely the best we could ever get is a small change in Apple's/AT&T's T&C (or whatever acronyms they use now).

      Keep your money, give me freedom (aka: carrier freedom)
    1. badbrain88's Avatar
      badbrain88 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Captinsmooth View Post
      It seems to me that most are missing the point that if this lawsuit is successful, it will allow for a competitive market place. Which in turn will cause lower pricing for iphone plans. This will benefit all consumers greatly.
      Will it? I'm not too sure, as here in Europe all phones can be operator unlocked after 6 months. This has been the case for 2 years and prices seem to be going up, even though the iPhone is available on at least 4 networks.

      What do you pay in the US? My new iPhone 4 tariff = 55 ($69/46) for unlimited calls to any French landline/mobile, wifi, data, sms, mms 24/7/365 and Orange TV (60 channels), Orange Maps (like TomTom but worse), Orange Sport, etc. for 12 month contract. 61 if you include the insurance against theft, accidental damage, loss(?!), water damage.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      So in other words the lawsuit doesn't mean a damn thing now as will be the same for pretty much any other lawsuit filed against Apple. Sweet.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      This is nothing more than an attempt for lawyers to make money. The lawyers will make tens of millions, but all we will get (if we're lucky) is an official unlock tool for iPhones out of contract.
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by listenclose View Post
      Or another option. Take them to court and win a victory for consumers everywhere. "Whiny b!tches" Made this country great you freaking idiot. Independence, civil rights, suffrage, environmental and consumer protections yup all "Whiny B!ches".
      "consumers everywhere" have a choice to go to AT&T and get an iPhone, go online and pay out the ***** for an unlocked iPhone or don't get an iPhone.

      And you realize you just compared independence and civil rights to getting you iPhone unlocked right? And I'm the freaking idiot.
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      This really means nothing for current iPhone users, maybe one day we will be able to call and have them unlocked like any other phone, and maybe we will all get a $20 credit on our accounts, but really, thats it.

      Spinning things like this is stupid at best...
    1. Y67H's Avatar
      Y67H -
      This is Apple's product, they made it, patented it, everything! if they want to use AT&T only than they can. What's next, are Sprint and HTC going to be in a lawsuit because of the EVO. A lot of phones are exclusive to their carriers. Oh that's right, it's an Apple product. Lets punish apple and AT&T for doing what everybody does. Gosh, what the hell is wrong here?
    1. XtraRare's Avatar
      XtraRare -
      This is why mine's on T-Mobile :P
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      I also totally agree. listenclose is one of those whinny ******* who would rather complain and be in a lawsuit rather than make a decision that MILLIONS of people have made and are perfectly happy with.
    1. GrandMstrBud's Avatar
      GrandMstrBud -
      Quote Originally Posted by Y67H View Post
      This is Apple's product, they made it, patented it, everything! if they want to use AT&T only than they can. What's next, are Sprint and HTC going to be in a lawsuit because of the EVO. A lot of phones are exclusive to their carriers. Oh that's right, it's an Apple product. Lets punish apple and AT&T for doing what everybody does. Gosh, what the hell is wrong here?
      How does this compare to HTC and the Sprint EVO? All of the 4 major carriers in the US have android based phones so there are options for android phones.
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Y67H View Post
      This is Apple's product, they made it, patented it, everything! if they want to use AT&T only than they can. What's next, are Sprint and HTC going to be in a lawsuit because of the EVO. A lot of phones are exclusive to their carriers. Oh that's right, it's an Apple product. Lets punish apple and AT&T for doing what everybody does. Gosh, what the hell is wrong here?
      This is 100% correct. Sanyo has been exclusive to Sprint in the US for at least 8 years. probably more. No one is going after either of them because millions of people arent lining up at 2AM to PRE-ORDER a flip camera phone.
    1. Y67H's Avatar
      Y67H -
      Quote Originally Posted by GrandMstrBud View Post
      How does this compare to HTC and the Sprint EVO? All of the 4 major carriers in the US have android based phones so there are options for android phones.
      oh yeah, never thought of that. but still, apple made iOS, they should be in charge of who benefits from it
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      Lets see, iPHone is only available on AT&T, check. Hackers had to constantly stay one step ahead of apple to keep phones unlocked so they could be used on T-Mobile, check. After the 2G, you could no longer buy the iPhone without signing a 2 year contract with AT&T, check. I don't know about you, but those three examples are enough for me let alone many other reasons.