AT&T customers attempting to sue Apple over iPhone lock

AT&T customers attempting to sue Apple over iPhone lock

25 Oct 2012

I won’t go into the nitty gritty of the lawsuit that has been filed, that information can be found on CNET’s original article, but it has came to light that 2 individuals are suing Apple for locking their iPhones to the AT&T network. The situation has probably been highlighted due to the fact thatVerizon customers unexpectedly discovered that their new iPhone 5’s were unlocked, prompting AT&T customers to demand the same.

However, this lawsuit has been filed against Apple themselves, claiming that Apple have violated antitrust laws. The individuals and their representatives have claimed that by locking the phones into voice and data plans to AT&T, they have violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The case also particularly highlights that Apple themselves didn’t clearly notify the individuals that their handsets would be locked.

Previous similar cases where individuals have filled these complaints had not been successful - which does give off the vibe that neither will this one. However, the previous cases were targeting the networks themselves, as opposed to the handset manufacturer, which could make things a little bit more interesting.

In most cases, phones that are sold directly from the manufacturer are unlocked, so this lawsuit may have legs. If a phone is purchased from a network (like most are) then customers do expect that the phone will be locked, which doesn’t violate these anti-trust laws. So it will be interesting to see how this case develops and what the ruling is, and we’ll have that information available here when we do find out.

Article by Darren Kingman

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