More iPhone class-action suit excitement this week, but this time it’s nothing so measly as dodgy reception. Instead, a federal judge has ruled that a monopoly abuse suit against Apple and their US carrier partner AT&T can go ahead, covering anybody who bought an AT&T iPhone (with two-year agreement) since the first-gen model’s release in 2007. According to the suit, because of Apple’s long-term – quoted at five years – exclusivity agreement with AT&T, buyers were in fact locked into five year rather than two year relationships with the carrier.
However the judge also dismissed claims that Apple had bricked devices in the process of issuing software updates. The class-action lawsuit is looking for an injunction against locked iPhone sales in the US together with more flexibility as to which apps owners can install to their handsets. In Europe, meanwhile, Apple has already switched to offering unlocked iPhones, selling contract-free, unsubsidized units through their own online stores while various carrier partners offer their own versions under contract.