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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. brandoncarr's Avatar
      brandoncarr -
      I hated having my iPhone on the AT&T network.
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Stupid... anything for money... Got my product and thankfully I had a choice...
    1. leo_3GS's Avatar
      leo_3GS -
      JUST ANOTHER MONEY GRAB... release the god damn unlock and JB for all IOS4's ..... jesus ****.
    1. PhoneLine's Avatar
      PhoneLine -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      Stupid... anything for money... Got my product and thankfully I had a choice...
      Amazing isn't it? Can we sue T-Mobile cause I can't get a Eric Clapton My Touch on Boost mobile too?

      Its not like no one knew, it was going to be a AT&T exclusive and they sprang that on you in the last second. And yeah, it caused a monopoly after the fact. What if the product had failed? No lawsuit then.

      Everyone just wants a piece of the pie, even when they don't deserve a slice.
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by brandoncarr View Post
      I hated having my iPhone on the AT&T network.
      Ditto... I don't like any of the carriers though especially the coma ones. perhaps I am just use to the european contracts. I do like T-Mobile which is why I use them in my iphone...

      ATT just needs to get up to speed with the technology. they capitalized from a good product. Unfortunately they are crippling it because they are in a since writing checks that their service cant offer.... Perhaps in the future.

      Hell I think APPLE should file a suit against ATT. They have caused more havoc than needed. No MMS, to dropped calls, to the latest.... No good facetime...

      But regardless of any carrier or law suit... Once this JB comes out... mannnn this thing will be what APPLE intended it to be used for...Built for speed baby...lol

      Facetime over all platforms including home phone... sweet... Expecially for us that travel a lot.
    1. romeo0119's Avatar
      romeo0119 -
      One thing I hope that comes out from this suit is that Apple will finally allow customer to get their iphone unlock in the states. I just dont understand why they dont allow this, if you buy the phone at retail price and didnt sign a contract you should be able to request for it to be unlock. Even canada sell the iphone unlock...
    1. 8r00k1yn8411!n's Avatar
      8r00k1yn8411!n -
      So does this mean a Verizon iPhone or maybe a real T-Mobile iPhone?
    1. Squeaky369's Avatar
      Squeaky369 -
      No this does not mean a Verizon iPhone; or a T-Mobile iPhone.

      It means some people are going to make some money; and that's it.

      The ONLY reason why this is happening is because little whinny bitchy people; like the majority that are on this forum; want the iPhone on Verizon, so they took At&t and Apple to court to try and get it fixed.

      Well guess what; it's still not going to happen.

      So; like I say every time I have to post; quit your ******** if you don't like At&t. Go somewhere else; give us your bandwidth and try going to Verizon where you get dial up speed 3G; or T-Mobile; where you don't get any 3G at all.
    1. Captinsmooth's Avatar
      Captinsmooth -
      Should be interesting to see how this unfolds.
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      In My Town ATT has the best Coverage Just Like Verizon... T-Mobile really sucks here ur always stuck on Edge and roaming.

      So I don't mind ATT

      As far as verizon iPhone I doubt it. Steve Jobs did go to them first then simply wanted to much control over it so he went to ATT. Plus Verizon is really trying to sell their Droid Line.
    1. LSZ33's Avatar
      LSZ33 -
      ^^^^^^+1 @squeaky369
    1. Patato22's Avatar
      Patato22 -
      Using Simple Mobile i have full signal all the time fast internet data all for 60 dollars jajaja im living the life on my iphone 3GS
    1. L00i3's Avatar
      L00i3 -
      I for one kinda like this. All I would want out of itwould be the ability to legitimately unlock the phone. I never realized just how much I wanted an unlock until I was in Afghanistan, and AT&T sent me a text saying data cost 19.95 per megabyte or so. At the time, there was no unlock for the 05.12.01 baseband, so I went to a French store there and bought a factory unlocked 3gs. It cost me about a thousand bucks, plus about 500 bucks worth of prepaid cards on the local carrier just to have phone & GPRS service. BUT, at 19.95/MB & 4.95/min for voice, that fifteen hundred spent was equivalent to 30 thousand plus if I had used the same amount of data & voice with my AT&T sim. So the ability to legitimately unlock the phone once the original contract is up would be very welcome. I could care less about any money they may be trying to get out of it.
    1. Conas's Avatar
      Conas -
      I'm happy with AT&T. I'd be happy with a positive settlement, too, but I don't want AT&T to spend money they should be using to fix the network to pay for this law suit.
    1. Owen Priestley's Avatar
      Owen Priestley -
      It is stupid how much power AT&T have over iPhone customers. Here in the UK you can buy an iPhone on Pay as you Go and use any sim card in it. You can also choose to take out a contract with a free iPhone with practically any provider (Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Tesco, Vodafone..). An added bonus is that competition between the networks drives prices even lower
    1. rubenmer5's Avatar
      rubenmer5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by romeo0119 View Post
      One thing I hope that comes out from this suit is that Apple will finally allow customer to get their iphone unlock in the states. I just dont understand why they dont allow this, if you buy the phone at retail price and didnt sign a contract you should be able to request for it to be unlock. Even canada sell the iphone unlock...
      +1.... I don't care about any monetary desicions, just let me buy the iPhone Unlock and I'll be happy. After that J/B = THE PERFECT PHONE.
    1. therandy's Avatar
      therandy -
      Quote Originally Posted by leo_3GS View Post
      JUST ANOTHER MONEY GRAB... release the god damn unlock and JB for all IOS4's ..... jesus ****.
      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!
    1. dbizzy1's Avatar
      dbizzy1 -
      So is there gonna be a lawsuit against Verizon for it's Droid, or Sprint for it's EVO? I mean seriously this is a little ridiculous. I can't wait until the iPhone is available on other carriers so everyone will see that it's not AT&T's network it's the fact that there are to many damn people who use it on the network. Has anyone in here tried to use a wifi singnal with 70 people on the same signal? Think of a cell phone network like that, the iPhone comprises of about 60-70% of AT&T's network and the same will happen to any other network. Just wait and see. So when the next carrier gets the iPhone we'll get to see that network crash and burn as well. Also just remember at the end of the day it's just a phone people. I think we've finally lost touch with reality lol!
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      We are likely to all be dead and forgotten by the time this lawsuit is over. Apple has $20+B and is likely to use it all to retain their ungodly control.

      On the plus side, thank God a few non-Apple fan-boys are taking a stab at their highly restrictive (and possibly illegal) monopolistic practices.

      We could be lucky and see a few minor changes. But just like Microsoft, Apple won't give up much without a fight
    1. babyblue_pimp's Avatar
      babyblue_pimp -
      WTF what happened to america?

      since when is it illegal to make as much money as possible?

      No one cares about all the other companies with their exclusive phones, such as tmobile with their sidekick, just because they are making a butt load of money all of a sudden its illegal?

      (sorry i own apple and att stock )