iPhone AT&T Exclusivity Class Action Lawsuit

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by insidmal, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. insidmal macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010

    The argument is that iPhone customers signed up for a two-year contract without being told that AT&T had an exclusive for five years -- thus in reality being held to the carrier for an additional three years without recourse. Sure, that sounds a little silly, but if you bought the first-gen iPhone and wanted to stick with the platform it's the truth -- discounting the fact, of course, that no one's required to buy another Phone after two years, and even then you have to sign a new contract.
  2. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    How is this different than any other exclusive phone on a carrier? People have a choice, always have, always will. To say that AT&T duped you into 5 years with them because you had to have an iPhone is moronic at best.
  3. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    Yeah, it's a dumb lawsuit, but hey being an iPhone user I stand a shot at getting come settlement money. Looking for to my $5 credit!
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    // on the fence wrt locking/exclusively in general.

    On the one hand, I realize the initial outlay that ATT puts fourth for the iPhone, and Apple uses exclusiveness + awareness to convince ATT that the relationship is worth it. Forcing carrier lock means guaranteed revenue for time to come.

    On the other hand, I have a 2G iPhone and an iPhone 3G, neither in contract, paid for in full by me, but I cannot use them as I see fit. If I move to an area where ATT blows but there is a t-mobile tower right next to my house, I still can't use it. If ATT just figures that i'm no longer worth their time as a customer, all my phones are useless.

    I've already accepted that fact. Not beating my chest shouting, but as i've spent some time waiting on a 3G unlock i've pondered the "why am I waiting for a softunlock that'll undoubtedly be broken again when i've paid for the phone in full" question over and over.
  5. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    I think companies should be able to submit class action suits against uninformed consumers.
    You get a subsidized phone with a two year contract.
    At the end of the 24th month You can walk away from AT&T or continue with your current contract agreement. AT&T does not require anyone to renew their contract unless you want a new phone.
    I would like to see the carriers prorate the the full cost of the phone over the contract instead of an ETF.
    Once your contract is fulfilled or if you pay full price the phone should be unlocked
  6. Omegaman69 macrumors newbie


    Jul 8, 2010
    Yes, but

    This is true. And, I do not think this 5 year exclusivity argument is going to hold up. However, I contend that the exclusivity contract is illegal, as are all similar contracts.

    The reasons:

    1) All legal contracts must be equitable. That is, one party cannot receive an disproportional benefit as compared to any other party. This brings us to number 2.

    2) This exclusivity contract is not just between Apple and AT&T. There is a third party to the contract, and that is the consumer. Number 3.

    3) The consumer has no input into this contract, and receives a disproportionately less benefit than the other two parties. 4

    4) Yes, the consumer has the option to simply not buy the Iphone. However, the decision to not purchase it for many, is the exclusivity contract that Apple has made with AT&T, thus depriving the consumer from using their Iphone on whatever carrier they choose. 5

    5) This creates a disproportional benefit for the third contracting entity, the consumer.

    A consumer should have a right under law to purchase any phone and use that phone on any network which supports the same type network. Two entities contracting to affectively exclude the users freedom to choose their own network, is illegal.

    I would like to add that you will not find another person who supports individual rights, which includes companies rights (which are made up of individuals) to do anything they want, but provided only that they do not violate anybody else's right to exercise their freedom. So, Apple and AT&T have every right to contract to provide an Iphone to consumers at some reduced price, or other incentive to use their Iphone on the AT&T network, but they do not have the right to exclude the third party to this contract, the consumer, from exercising their right to use in on a different carrier.

    Basically - Every human being has an absolute unalienable right to do absolutely anything they choose, provided only that they do not violate any other human being's right to do the same thing.

  7. jkwireless macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    If, at the end of my original 2 year contract, AT&T gave me the subsidy unlock code for my iPhone, I would agree that the lawsuit is baseless. However, AT&T will NOT unlock an iPhone under any circumstances which forces consumers to either renew, repurchase, or discontinue the use of their iPhone. Not fair. They can't have it both ways...
  8. clovis112 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    my thoughts exactly.. as soon as your contract is up, they should provide unlock codes for the iPhone, which att won't give.
  9. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    then sue sprint for the evo.

    or Verizon for the droid

    but not t-mobile cause they dont got ****
  10. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
  11. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    I agree with this a bit, but… that still only gives the US consumers TMobile as an option. Not an option if you want 3G speeds everywhere like me.

    this is a good point if you want a specific Android device. The counterpoint is that you can get an Android device on any carrier.

    This is a unique situation since iOS isn't available on other devices like Android.

    On the other hand, you don't see class action lawsuits over video game exclusivity.

    I think it's all petty, whiny ************ myself.
  12. TheBama macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Dumb lawsuit. As others have pointed out you'd likely have to take it to the government agencies since it's a common practice among all service providers and manufacturers.

    People just seem desperate to try and get something for free out of Apple/AT&T right now, and as with all class action suits even if you win ten years from now the lawyers will get 20 million and you'll get 37 cents towards an itunes download.
  13. VTMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2008
    Only in America. Yet Another Lawsuit destined to generate nothing but fees for the lawyers involved. Sad.
  14. army91c macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
  15. army91c macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    OMFG I have to +1 ya on this one.

    Yeah I have one.... you're an id... oops gotta be nice here on ol MR.

    I believe Apple and AT&T's lawyers probably know a bit more about this situation than you do. What you wrote sounded pretty cool, just smelled a bit seeing as it came out your 4th point of contact.

    Who says you need to do any of these options? No one. You can continue to use the phone on at&t, or jailbreak and unlock your phone to use on T-Mo. Don't like those options don't use iPhone.
  16. pugnut macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    With regards to number #4 the consumer has the option not to purchase, they are not being required to purchase it. There is nothing it the law that requires that companies make products available for everyone who wants one. Exclusive deals have already been through the courts and upheld. Now if they purchased the phone and can not use it after the contract expired I can see where they were deprived. Not prior to purchase.
  17. zeeflyboy macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2009
    Holy crap! You really can start a lawsuit over anything in America can't you...
  18. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    Pretty much. I could sue you for now knowing that. Many (some?) of the more ridiculous ones get thrown out long before the trial starts.
  19. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007
    Comments? I actually went to law school, you, not so much. :)

    Though Contracts was one of my least favorite courses, I do remember some of it. :)

    Contracts are not required to be fair to both parties. Often people freely enter into a contract they know isn't fair. The only requirement is that there's an offer, acceptance, a meeting of the minds so each party understands the terms and nature of the contract, and consideration given, it's true that each party does have to be offering something of value, that they aren't required to give, but what's fair and equal is up to the parties, unless it turns out one party duped the other via some type of fraud, which is a different issue, ie no meeting of the minds.
  20. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I can only add this.

    In the interest of "fair" - once you are done with your contract, you should be able to unlock your phone and use it on any carrier. Of course I understand WHY they don't do it. But this eliminates this kind of suit where people "legally" can only use their phone that they have now bought outright on one network.

    And I think the iPhone is the only phone (that I know of) with this issue. I know that when I had a blackberry - after I think about 16 months into my contract I was able to call ATT and request an unlock code so that when I travelled overseas I could use a different sim.

    So again - AFTER a FULL contract is completed (not early upgrade to a new phone) but after a full two years with one iPhone - they should be unlocking them.
  21. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007

    It is. ATT is required to unlock every phone except the iPhone, thanks to the verbiage in the class action suite settlement ("Those who own handsets for which AT&T has an exclusive period of less than 10 months (which would exclude the iPhone"). Infact, everyone cites verizon and sprint having similar issues, but that's not the case at all. There have been many reports of people using opposite carriers, but its the new carrier that has to activate the phone (in most cases they are unwilling). The two instances are nothing alike.

    But they don't. And that's why i'm so confused about people who are commenting on this lawsuit without having read the objective. Even if the lawyers escape the fray with millions of dollars in their pockets, we will be able to do what we want with our hardware. To deny yourselves the choice is silliness at it's finest.

    Perhaps ATT should charge users the subsidized price to LEASE phones, which will be surrendered returned to ATT after the contract period, and then charge a "hardware rental" fee of..say...$10/month. Some of you guys would line up in droves :D
  22. Rhonen macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2010
    If Apple/AT&T loses, that opens the flood gates.
  23. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    how so
  24. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Right now - that's basically what they're doing, no? You pay 199 or 299 - and then you can use the phone on their network for 2 years with a mandatory voice AND data plan. At the end of 2 years - that phone, even if you own it, is rendered "useless" as a phone UNLESS it stays on ATT. It's like a permanent lease without an option to buy LOL
  25. mtwilford macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    I need to be a lawyer :D :D - I agree to some extent, after completing your contract they should issue an unlock code and the consumer can move on if they wish. Also, if you purchase at full price it should be unlocked.

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