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Apple, AT&T Sued for iBricking, Monopolistic Behavior
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:36

 The consumers are bringing the fight to Apple Inc.

Daily Tech
Jason Mick (Blog) - October 11, 2007 9:23 AM

Cupertino-based Apple Inc. has been busy writing firmware to lock the iPhones and iPod Touches from third party applications and unlocking. Now after trying to put out one literal iFire, as predicted in a previous DailyTech article, Apple Inc. has found itself the target of not one, but two separate lawsuits seeking class action status.

Apparently Apple's answer to owners of frozen iPhones that they should “buy a new phone” did not go over well.
One lawsuit was filed at the state level by Saratoga attorney Damian Fernandez, who is representing California resident Timothy Smith.

The federal suit was filed by the offices of Hoffman & Lazear in Oakland and Folkenflik & McGerity in New York, on behalf of two individuals Paul Holman and Lucy Rivello; both iPhone owners.

The federal case accuses Apple of unfair business practices, violations of antitrust laws, violations of telecommunications laws and violations of warranty laws. It states that by disallowing user modification of phones to work on other networks, Apple and AT&T willfully and knowingly intended from the initiation of their partnership to maintain a monopoly.

The suit further points to Apple's actions with its latest firmware update which unlawfully restrict consumer choice by preventing people from "unlocking" their iPhones, locking out third party applications from its file system and disabling unlocked iPhones turning them into "iBricks."

The suit officially stated that it did not know how large the effective class would be, but filed it under 100 or more. The firms are predicting big though -- they stated that they think the "there will be millions" who will join the class action.

Part of the dilemma is in knowing how many unlocked iPhones there are. Hundreds of thousands of copies of the unlocking software have been sold or downloaded. Adding in the numbers of people who performed hardware hacks and the number of unlocked iPhone owners may be 100,000 or more. This would be significant portion of the iPhone population, which currently numbers around 1.3 million.

The civil suit accused Apple and AT&T of similar violations, only on a state level in California. It says Apple and AT&T willfully violated many state laws in engaging in its monopolistic and malicious behavior.... More     Comment in the Forum
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