A federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California declared last week that the lawsuit filed against Apple and AT&T over their exclusivity contract has been granted class action status. This means anyone who bought an iPhone and signed up for a two-year AT&T contract (since June 2007) may be included in the lawsuit.
The issue at stake is whether those who signed up for a two-year contract with AT&T did so knowing that they were actually entering a de-facto five-year contract because that’s what the AT&T-Apple exclusivity agreement has been reported to be. Also, lawsuit is to address Apple’s practice of “locking” iPhones thus limiting their usability to only AT&T’s network, as well as its absolute control over what applications iPhone owners can and cannot install on the gadgets.
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.