iPhone Class Action Monopoly Lawsuit Against Apple & AT&T Approved

When the first iPhone was launched back in 2007, a few Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) U.S. customers filed lawsuits challenging Apple’s and AT&T’s right to tie the iPhone to one cellular provider by locking it.

Further lawsuits also challenged Apple’s right to control what software you could put on your iPhone, and alleged that Apple and AT&T were dishonest when they sold 2 year contracts to customers for iPhones, when they knew that they had an exclusive 5 year deal to sell the device together.

Over the past few years a few of these lawsuits have built up, and Apple has sold some 50 Million iPhones.

Today a Judge in California has disallowed some of the claims (pertaining to more spurious arguments), and said that others can be consolidated into one class action suit. Furthermore, anyone who bought an iPhone with a 2 year contract on AT&T since 2007 can also join the action.

The ultimate aim of the lawsuit is to stop Apple selling locked mobile phones in the US, and also controlling what software is installed on them.

All this seems a little bit like bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted as the iPhone will more than likely be on other carriers in the US early next year.

I am guessing that somewhere along the line lawyers and customers will be looking to line their pockets with some kind of compensation for “pain and suffering”, or other similar ludicrous claim. And at the end of the day this is another “financial fishing trip” at Apple’ and AT&T’s expense.

Do you think this will open iPhone contracts up for other carriers? Or do you think this could bring Apple’s App Store tumbling down? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

[The Associated Press]

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  • F—SteveJobs

    Personally, I feel like Apple and AT&T had this coming. The 1.1.1 update that bricked devices that Apple had already collected payment for was a punk move by a company who felt slighted because they were outsmarted by their customers. That would be like a car dealership selling you a car and then coming onto your property late one night and pouring sugar in the gas tank because you went elsewhere to service the vehicle. I own an iPhone 3G, and I'm no Apple fanboy. The device WAS great, until updates issued when newer models went on the market INTENTIONALLY SLOWED DOWN PREVIOUS MODELS. They even took out the ability to stream a podcast while using other functions on the phone. That's just WRONG, no matter how you look at it. I hope the ghost of the comatose individual that Steve Jobs likely had put down so they could harvest a liver for him haunts that P.O.S. every day. That turd even denied his own daughter for years. It's almost enough satisfaction to know that he will surely rot in hell, but I think I'll still try to get in on that class action.