Apple & AT&T sued over iPhone | iLounge News


Apple & AT&T sued over iPhone

The law firms of Folkenflik & McGerity and Hoffman & Lazear have filed a $1.2 billion class action suit on behalf of iPhone owners against Apple and AT&T Mobility (AT&T’s cellular unit) in US District Court. The case, Paul Holman and Lucy Rivello v. Apple, Inc., AT&T Mobility, LLC., claims that the companies’ agreements to restrict iPhone users to using only the AT&T cellular network for voice and data, and to restrict users to using only applications from Apple, run afoul of Federal antitrust laws, California antitrust laws, and California unfair trade practice laws. The suit goes on to say that Apple and AT&T are liable for “computer trespass”, based on the recent 1.1.1 iPhone software release, which disabled many SIM unlocks, third-party software, and left some users’ phones inoperable. The suit claims these changes were not technically required for the new features Apple was offering in the update.

“There is little question that Apple and AT&T have misused Apple’s programs to improperly coerce consumers to buy only AT&T voice and data services and only Apple programs. That is unlawful under both Federal and state laws, and any terms in Apple’s and AT&T’s contracts to the contrary are also unlawful and unenforceable,” said Max Folkenflik, one of the attorneys on the case. “Apple and AT&T have no more right or technological justification for forcing iPhone users to use only AT&T service and Apple applications than Ford would to force car owners to use only Ford batteries or tires, or than the maker of your television has to force you to watch only Fox or CBS.”

The suit calls for compensatory damages of $200 million, which are trebled according to law to $600 million, as well as for punitive damages of $600 million, and for injunctions prohibiting the alleged unlawful conduct and voiding the unlawful contract terms. More information, including a complete copy of the class action complaint, is available on the lawsuit’s website,

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As per our comments policy, posts containing obscenities and other offensive comment will be deleted. Please keep your language clean. Thanks.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on October 14, 2007 at 12:20 PM (CDT)


@markrich: If only we Americans realized how ridiculous this very sort of thing makes us look in the eyes of the rest of the world.

@grilled cheese sammies: Amen.

Sorry for the “Me, too” post.

Posted by Tommy B. on October 14, 2007 at 9:07 PM (CDT)


I CAN’T believe all of you who are posting in AGREEMENT that this lawsuit!!!!!! You are siding with these carriers who are making big bucks by forcing you to use only their cell phones in order to subscribe to their service.  This is getting out of hand when consumers are forced into discarding their perfectly good cell phones when there contract agreement is over, and they want to select a different provider with better rates!!!!  These phones we get are worth hundreds of dollars!  And you “post-ees” think this is an ok thing!!! Where in the heck did the ant-trust laws come from if it weren’t for big companies taking over consumers choices????????
I will be the first to join an anti-trust law suit over verizon wireless, A T & T, and any other provider that locks our consumer choices and our legal rights to choose!!!!!
So you guys help yourself and keep buying these phones and get locked in.

Posted by iamthatiam on March 20, 2008 at 9:45 AM (CDT)


I am a testament and example that Mr. Folkenflik’s interpretation of the law related to this case has valid legal concerns regarding an infringement to consumer’s rights and fair business practices.

I purchased three IPhones a few weeks after its release. Spending almost 3,000.00 dollars on phones and accessories in the Apple Store. This total not inclusive the contract termination fee I sustained to cancel a contract with my previous carrier; which was the most feasible economic action in response to the ridged un compromised requisite of using AT&T’s service with the Iphone.

Very recently I was denied the remedy Apple’s warranty offers to physical problems of the components of my Iphone that have rendered it partially useless, only because I had unlocked the phone and applied applications Apple deems un advantageous to their revenue. After spending a considerable amount of money to own the technology the Iphone offered, I was treated with the most disrespectful un empathetic attitude I had ever encountered at any similar retail store. Not even my request for clemency towards a solution in this conflict with their policy that resulted in my loss because of their annulment of my warranty. I was told nothing could be done, my serial number was identified as a product who’s warranty is void in the event that I chose to attempt appealing my situation with any other store or manager. Further more I was told my actions excluded me from any possibility of discount towards a new Iphone if I were to desire to replace my currently defective Iphone. The only resolve the associates and managers facetiously offered was for me to (and I do quote) “call Steve Jobs and see if he wanted to do anything about it.”

In all objectivity, excluding my personal sentiment, frustration and monetary loss…

I know that the unjust loss I sustained as a consumer would not have occurred had Mr. Folkenflik’s legal arguments been applied in favor of limiting Apple’s ability to create financial loss and negatively effect the consumer with these policies that are intended only to suppress the ability of the consumer to choose an other carrier because it competes with Apple.

Though my education and expertise is not in law, I still challenge the scrutiny and application of reason, which deem Apple’s business practices as unjust.

Posted by Jovian on July 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM (CDT)


iamthatiam and Tommy B. I thought my post was quite convincing that there are policies in place that were not only disadvantageous to customers, but also obviously illegal. I have sustained unjust financial loss as a consumer because of Apple’s illegal business practices. Read up on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and when you do, see if my case is not valid in federal court. Also assess if Apple has not infringed on the rights of this remedial statute’s efforts to protect consumers from deceptive warranty practices. I look forward to your reply. In the words of Nicholaus Copernicus “For i am not so enamored with my own opinions that i disregard what others might think of them.”

Posted by Jovian on July 8, 2008 at 6:54 PM (CDT)

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