As noted, it will take years to wind its way through the courts, by which time the exclusivity deal will be history (not so long if you believe the Verizon rumours) and the profits AT&T and Apple made in the interim will far outweigh the small fine that will be imposed, if convicted. The winners will be the law firms that argue the case. The losers will be the taxpayers the fund it.
Of course, there never was an exclusive in most countries in the world where there was more than one GSM/HSPA network.
"The lawsuit seeks an injunction to keep Apple from selling locked iPhones in the U.S. and from determining what iPhone programs people can install. It also seeks damages to cover legal fees and other costs."
It has "merit" - I don't think so. Why is locking the iphone by AT&T any different than the locking of the thousands of other models of phones released by the various NA carriers over the last decade? (Why aren't all Motorola Droid owners suing that their Motorola phones are locked to Verizon, and that the Android Marketplace doesn't provide enough protection!) And so what if they were unlocked - then what would all of those American iPhone users do except continue to use AT&T.
99semaj: this case is nothing to do with forcing Apple to make phones for other bands or frequencies.
And as for the applications: it's not a public right - it's a private business and what they offer is what they offer. It's like I can't walk into West Edmonton Mall waterpark and then file a law suit because they don't have go-kart racing. Rather I need to have a reasonable expectation of what services WEM waterpark offers before I buy my ticket.
Back to the Apps Store: remember this case goes back to original iPhone 1 owners who bought their phones before there even was an apps store. When they bought it there only were web apps and those continue to exist unrestricted today.
This case has no merit and is just BS. Actually it's a sad commentary on the American legal system, the mentality of consumers and the American citizens, and the morality of its lawyers.
If you build a POS and sell to just one vendor nobody would care. The iPhone was/is a huge success so they must be punished for developing and properly marketing a game changing device.
I will probably never get an iPhone because where I am located two thirds of the year is still only running an IS-95 network and 2G gsm was launched late last year. Maybe I should sue Apple and the regional carriers in this area for the emotional distress caused by not being able to get one.
How I see it, if you want an iPhone go to AT&T, if you can't stand AT&T don't get an iPhone. If you don't like the restrictions Apple placed on the use of the device they developed, either suck it up or don't get an iPhone.
Allow me to clarify...there's merit in the case with respect to carriers locking their phones and inhibiting them from working on other networks after the contract expires...this might be interpreted as a form of 'tying' in antitrust law.
Is this case specific to Apple / AT&T? No, it is not. But as many people know, put the word Apple in a press release and it is suddenly sexy and newsworthy. That's why they are suing Apple, and not other carriers with more pedestrian offerings.
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