We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Apple, AT&T face $1bn US iPhone lawsuit

Plaintiffs want an unlocked Apple iPhone

Because the iPhone is locked to AT&T's wireless network, Apple and AT&T must answer a class-action lawsuit seeking $1.2bn in damages. The class-action suit also notes that Apple will not allow unauthorised applications on the iPhone.

Filed on behalf of Paul Holman in the State of Washington and Lucy Rivello in California, the lawsuit explains that in the US the SIM chip is locked to the wireless carrier, not the hardware device.

Apple iPhone: the definitive UK review

When Apple released the iPhone it tied the device to AT&T. Switching the SIM with one from another carrier simply caused an error when the phone was rebooted. However, the cellular community quickly tackled the iPhone and found several ways to unlock the phone, allowing users to activate it using another carrier.

On 24 September Apple warned customers that unlocking the phone could render it inoperable when future software updates were applied. Three days later, an iPhone update was released that effectively bricked unlocked iPhones.

See also: Apple's iPhone update screws hacks

"Apple expressly designed its software release 1.1.1 to disable third-party apps and to disable any unlocked SIM cards, and to create technical barriers to install new third-party apps or to unlock the SIM cards," the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit also contends that Apple didn't discover that unlocking applications would harm the iPhone as it stated on 24 September. Rather, the suit says that Apple engineered the software update to disable the phones on purpose.

"Version 1.1.1 was an upgrade with limited specific changes and improvements," the lawsuit reads.

According to the lawsuit Paul Holman purchased two iPhones and used third-party applications, as well as traveling abroad. Lucy Rivello said she wants to be able to use third-party apps and unlock her phone to switch to T-Mobile.


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

Artist creates a geometric rave in a chapel for The House of St Barnabus

IDG UK Sites

Mac mini (Late 2014) 1.4 GHz review: Mac mini is sort of upgradable, but is it any good as it is?