July 10, 2010
Thanks to a recent court decision, all U.S. iPhone owners are now part of a lawsuit against Apple. What does this mean to you? Read on to find out.According to a news story on Engadget.com, a lawsuit filed in 2007 has just been granted class action status. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of all U.S. iPhone owners, is in regard to Apple's secret exclusivity contract with AT&T. While buyers of the iPhone knowingly signed a 2-year contract with AT&T, they unknowingly bought a phone that could only be used on AT&T for 5 years. Effectively, they bought a phone with a 5-year contract that could be canceled after 2 years with no penalty. Because of the way class action suits work, everyone who has ever purchased an iPhone is automatically included. If a judgment is made against Apple, each iPhone user will have the option of taking whatever settlement is offered. Often in class action suits, the settlement is either a small cash payout, or some sort of coupon or credit. Given that the lawsuit was filed in 2007, and it took 3 years to make it this far, it will likely be years before we know who wins and what that settlement might be. What do you think? Was hiding the length of the exclusivity deal deceitful? Did Apple and AT&T conspire to force customers into a 5-year contract?