Lawsuit Against Apple and AT&T Over iPhone Becomes Class Action

Apple has its share of ongoing lawsuits from customers, but one filed back in 2007 has just been granted class action status. The suit in question claims that Apple and AT&T colluded to deceive customers through 2-year carrier contracts. When the 2-year contracts expired, there was no way to get the iPhones to work on other networks without dangerous third-party hacking that could potentially render devices inoperable. While the severe hardware locking that Apple did (and does) with its iPhone line of smartphones helps AT&T—who quite handsomely pays Apple for each one sold I might add—by keeping customers on its network, it hurts consumers by limiting their choices to only AT&T when their contract is up if they want to keep using their iPhone.

The class action lawsuit combines a number of suits against Apple and AT&T. Its basis is in anti-trust law and covers “anyone who bought an iPhone with a two-year AT&T agreement since the device first went on sale in June 2007,” according to the AP. So what exactly is the lawsuit asking for?

The complaint is seeking a court-ordered injunction against the pair to prevent them from selling locked iPhones in the United States, it seeks to prevent Apple from determining which applications can be installed on the iPhone, and seeks to recover legal fees and related costs. The AT&T exclusivity for the iPhone and Apple’s monopoly over what is allowed onto it are the two biggest complaints that it has had since its launch. Getting those two problems sorted out will be a big win for everyone who uses the smartphone.

Now we will just have to wait and see how the pending lawsuits against Apple for the antenna and reception issues on the iPhone 4 play out, among others.

Have an opinion on what Apple and AT&T have been doing for years with the iPhone?

Sick of AT&T and its forcing customers to stay with their problem-plagued network even after 2-year iPhone contracts expire?

Let us know what you think and if the lawsuit goes far enough.

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