By disabling unlocked/hacked iPhones and turning them to "iBricks", "Apple punished consumers for exercising their rights to unlock their iPhones," or at least that's what attorney Damian Fernandez said in a civil lawsuit filed in California.
Fernandez, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a California man, estimates that Apple has sold 1.28 million iPhones and that Apple turned "several hundred thousand of those phones" to "iBricks" (Fernandez's word).
Fernandez is seeking "class action" status to expand the litigation to cover all US iPhone buyers. The suit demands a jury trial and asks the court to order Apple to unlock iPhones and provide warranty service to hacked devices.It also demands Apple be forced to pay unspecified cash damages.
Another 2 lawsuits have been filed for the same reason against Apple in San Jose. A federal case accusing AT&T and Apple of "unfair business practices and violations of antitrust, telecommunications and warranty laws" and another state-level case with more or less of the same accusations.
The federal case was filed by the firms of Hoffman & Lazear in Oakland and Folkenflik & McGerity in New York on behalf of iPhone owners Paul Holman and Lucy Rivello. The state case was filed by Saratoga attorney Damian Fernandez on behalf of California resident Timothy Smith.
By not allowing consumers to modify their iPhones to work on other carrier networks, "the two companies conspired from the beginning of their partnership to maintain a monopoly", the federal lawsuit alleged.
The federal lawsuit stated it didn't know how large the affected class could be but pegged the number at 100 or more and anticipates "there will be millions."