Apple’s iPhone exclusivity to AT&T in the US may not last
Apple and AT&T may have violated the Sherman Antitrust Act when they had a secret agreement that locked customers in for five years, whilst the customers who were signing the agreement thought they were signing only for 2 years according to the hearing that was at a US District Court in the Northern District of California.
The Court also ruled that Apple may have violated the same law by limiting the market for iPhone applications to those available through the App Store, and then he added another possible violation regarding Apple deciding to permanent disable unlocked iPhones with its Version 1.1.1 update according to a writer at Network World, Scott Bradner.
We use the term “may have” loosely as the court refused to rule that the charges made by the people suing AT&T and Apple should be dismissed. It seems that Apple and AT&T now will have the pain staking task of producing masses of paperwork to detailing what the companies have been doing.
The case is at very early stages but if the outcome is one that Apple are told they cannot limit the iPhone to just AT&T and that they have to open the iPhone up to more third party applications. This would probably make Apple extremely happy as well as the consumers. AT&T on the other hand might not be so keen on the idea.