updated 02:45 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2007
Apple, AT&T sued
A new lawsuit filed by Dongmei Li of New York alleges that Apple and AT&T have engaged in price discrimination, underselling, discrimination in rebates, deceptive actions, and other wrongful actions as part of the massive (33 to 40 percent) iPhone price cut and the follow-up $100 Apple store credit, according to AppleInsider. The price discrimination claim stems from the fact that Li claims she cannot resell her iPhone for the same profit as customers who purchased the device after price drop. A periphery complaint is that users who bought their iPhones early were discriminated against because they only received a $100 credit, whereas those who purchased the device within a 14-day window of the price cut received a full $200 refund.
Li's attorney said, in the filing, "Market conditions did not require Apple to change its price. iPhone was selling very well because Apple's stocks were increasing since August 16, 2007 and rose as high as $144.16 on September 4, 2007, the day before Apple announced that it was cutting the price of iPhone."
Li seeks base damages of $1 million, as well as punitive damages, attorney's fees and more.
This is the latest in a long string of suits filed against Apple for iPhone-related matters. In late August, a class-action suit was filed against Apple, alleging that the company did not properly inform purchasers of iPhones that they would be tethered to AT&T's network for the duration of their contract, and separately complaining that using the device internationally can result in excessive data roaming charges. The 9-page suit claims that Apple misled iPhone buyers, not fully disclosing the locked-in nature of the device, and the fact that unlock codes would not be provided.
Two weeks earlier, a suit related to the built-in nature of iPhone batteries was filed. Sydney Leung accused both Apple and AT&T of fraud because the companies neglected to inform potential iPhone buyers of the costs related to maintaining a working battery for the device over the course of the iPhone's lifespan.