New York Man Sues Apple Over iPhone's Limitations Outside U.S. - InformationWeek

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8/30/2007
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New York Man Sues Apple Over iPhone's Limitations Outside U.S.

A frequent traveler who believed he would not suffer roaming charges is asking the court to mandate that Apple disclose unlock codes upon request.

A New York State man is suing Apple because he cannot unlock his iPhone.

Herbert Kliegerman filed a class action lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court this week, stating that the company misled consumers. He is the latest among several consumers to sue over the iPhone.

The lawsuit states that Kliegerman is a frequent traveler who believed he would not suffer roaming charges when he used the device outside of the United States. It explains that AT&T provided unlocking codes to enable the use of its phones in foreign countries, but the iPhone codes were unavailable.

He received a $2,000 bill due to data roaming charges after spending a week in Mexico, although Apple's iPhone Web site advertised that customers could access the Web and use e-mail as much as they wanted without incurring the charges, the lawsuit claims. He said the phone cannot be used with foreign wireless providers.

Kliegerman claims that the companies violated New York State consumer protection laws, which prohibit deceptive acts or practices.

He has asked the court to prohibit the sale of iPhones for exclusive use with AT&T unless the companies clearing disclose the limitation and fees for using the phones in foreign countries. He has also asked the court to mandate that Apple disclose unlock codes upon request.

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Kliegerman lawsuit is open to all New York State residents who bought an iPhone. Two other lawsuits currently in the courts complain that users cannot change the battery for the iPhone.

The quest to unlock the secrets of the iPhone has driven some to take extreme measures. George Hotz, a 17-year-old student from New Jersey, successfully replaced the handset's SIM card to show how a competing wireless carrier might break AT&T's current exclusive contract with Apple. A software company this month said that they can unlock the phone but scrapped immediate plans to release the software after they received legal warnings from attorneys representing AT&T.

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