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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. listenclose's Avatar
      listenclose -
      Quote Originally Posted by Owen Priestley View Post
      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
      Which is what capitalism is supposed to be about. Not this monopoly crap we have here in the states

      Quote Originally Posted by dbizzy1 View Post
      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!
      Won't that mean that AT&T's network will be free'd up a little, benefiting everyone?
    1. yentrog31's Avatar
      yentrog31 -
      It never ceases to amaze me how every thread this month contains somebody clamoring for a JB.
      They are working on it....maybe waiting for Apples next move...it will be here when its here.
      ...and btw when this class-action-lawsuit is settled let me know so I can tell them where to send my $1.57.
    1. JerseyScottie's Avatar
      JerseyScottie -
      Just another case of jelousy...so give everyone the sidekick...give everyone the motorolla droid..you dont hear that, But the iphone ? you hear it with that.Just a bunch of jelous people angry that their carrier doesn't have the iPhone.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Class Action is not for the people, it is for the lawyer filing the lawsuit. Only the lawyer makes money in Class Action. "Something gets done for the people" and it ain't money.
    1. janmillan's Avatar
      janmillan -
      if tmobile is getting an iphone it better be P!NK
    1. shadow25's Avatar
      shadow25 -
      I hope something productive happens. If this forces AT&T and Apple to sell factory unlocked phone, or unlock a phone at the end of a contract period, I'll be happy.

      For those who say "You knew you were going to be locked in for 2 years".. All I can say is NO ****. I go to Canada every month for a week, and if my iPhone wasn't unlocked, I wouldn't be able to afford roaming.

      T-Mobile will unlock their phones if you have been with them for 90 days.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GhStRdR2k View Post
      I was forced to use AT&T? I thought I chose to use AT&T....
      No you were forced to use the iPhone. Apple demanded you buy it as a requirement to live, THEN you were forced to use ATT.
    1. listenclose's Avatar
      listenclose -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      People who are saying this is just another money hungry group of people looking for a lawsuit don't get the whole picture. The BIGGEST issue here (IMO) is that ATT won't unlock a phone EVEN IF YOU STAY WITH THEM! Basically, if you go outside the US with your iPhone you are technically locked to paying outrageous overages because you have no other choice. Hopefully this lawsuit opens peoples eyes in the US that locked phones are simply ridiculous. One can still subsidize a phone no problems without the phone NEEDING to be locked to another carrier. Am I looking for money on this one? No, although I have had every iPhone since its inception. What I am looking for is to hopefully put an end to this practice of locking phones forever... and before people say "everyone does it" in the US, when I was a TMO customer all I had to do was call them and they emailed me instructions on how to permanently FACTORY unlock my blackberry free of charge (I had it for roughly 6 months). I even told them the reason I wanted it was a trip to Europe we were taking and the reps were MORE than helpful. THAT is how it should be!



      No, but you can sue them for not unlocking it for you... oh wait, they WILL unlock it for you as long as you request they do so!

      This lawsuit is NOT about hardware. The iPhone wouldn't work with full 3G in the US on any carrier outside of ATT, but, again, that is not the ground of the suit.
      Very good post but it's sad many idiots will just skip over it and spew bs
    1. psychodave's Avatar
      psychodave -
      The problem with a class action suit is the rest of us will probably get a $5.00 credit on our bill from a settlement on this. Unless you initiate the suite it's a waste of time for the rest of us.
    1. listenclose's Avatar
      listenclose -
      Quote Originally Posted by psychodave View Post
      The problem with a class action suit is the rest of us will probably get a $5.00 credit on our bill from a settlement on this. Unless you initiate the suite it's a waste of time for the rest of us.
      As has been said, if the class action suit causes a policy change that is better for the consumer, every freaking wins.
    1. nhoj_yelbom's Avatar
      nhoj_yelbom -
      the part about not unlocking the phones is what im pissed about, your paying a two year contract regardless if its unlocked
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      If you hate AT&T then dont get a PHUCKING iPhone!!!! If you love your iphone but dont want AT&T then shut the PHUCK up. You have a choice. If I wanted the Droid but I hate Verizon I'm not going to sign a contract with Verizon and then get on blogs complaining about how I wish the Droid was on another carrier because I'm not a PHUCKING whiney B!TCH! I CAN'T STAND people that complain about something that THEY can change. I hate Chipotle. Guess what? I dont eat there and then complain that its over priced catfood with cilantro. I have a choice not to go there.

      If you love you're iPhone than there is a reason you love it. It's a good phone with good service. If you don't have good service than change providers. If you carry an iPhone and a Droid than you're a rAtard.
    1. listenclose's Avatar
      listenclose -
      Quote Originally Posted by akosko01 View Post
      If you hate AT&T then dont get a PHUCKING iPhone!!!! If you love your iphone but dont want AT&T then shut the PHUCK up. You have a choice. If I wanted the Droid but I hate Verizon I'm not going to sign a contract with Verizon and then get on blogs complaining about how I wish the Droid was on another carrier because I'm not a PHUCKING whiney B!TCH! I CAN'T STAND people that complain about something that THEY can change. I hate Chipotle. Guess what? I dont eat there and then complain that its over priced catfood with cilantro. I have a choice not to go there.

      If you love you're iPhone than there is a reason you love it. It's a good phone with good service. If you don't have good service than change providers. If you carry an iPhone and a Droid than you're a rAtard.
      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. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      What a Class Action lawsuit will bring is for Iphone owner effected probality $10 and it will be for use when you purchase a new Apple Product or for Itunes and the lawyers will get millions and millions and it will be several years from now!
    1. Gyngabread Man's Avatar
      Gyngabread Man -
      Quote Originally Posted by area51crypto View Post
      What a Class Action lawsuit will bring is for Iphone owner effected probality $10 and it will be for use when you purchase a new Apple Product or for Itunes and the lawyers will get millions and millions and it will be several years from now!
      ^^^^ this one along with too many other post fail to see what this lawsuit is all about... not all lawsuits are about getting money this one is about being able to unlock our iphone when we are done with our contract. i have been out of contract since 09 and they still wont unlock my original iphone even though i have been out of contract. if i call asking to unlock any of my other phones thy will be more than happy to help att's policy is you can call and get your phone unlocked if you have are at least 90days into your contract and are in good standing billing wise. this applies to all but the iphone and there is a law that requires carriers to unlock your device after your contract is up to make it easier to change service providers if you wish. this is very similar to what it was like when they wouldnt allow you to port your number over. i dont remember ppl getting any money out if but we did get was the option to keep our number so we wouldnt have to go thru the hassle of giving every1 we knew our new number because we switched service provider.


      ps give me the jailbreak ppl... WHERE DID THIS ARTICLE MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE NEW JAILBREAK??? are you guys that stupid your mind is now injecting things you want to see or read about into the written language?
    1. crankz1's Avatar
      crankz1 -
      Heck with it!

      I'm going with smoke signals...
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      God, I'm so excited! Maybe now Apple will stop being control freak douche bags!
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Squeaky369 View Post
      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.
      Very well put. I totally agree
    1. alectra82's Avatar
      alectra82 -
      i could give a flying ufck. Not too may options for cellphone carriers in alaska.
    1. cpkirkley's Avatar
      cpkirkley -
      Quote Originally Posted by L00i3 View Post
      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.
      Legitimate gripe here. They constant advertise it as being workd ready, when it truly is not.