A California district court judge has granted class action status to a lawsuit filed by two iPhone buyers in 2007. The suit accuses iPhone manufacturer Apple, Inc. and AT&T, the sole licensed provider of iPhone services to the U.S. market, of entering into a secret agreement to “technologically restrict” iPhone voice and data services for a period of five years. The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California just four months after the June 2007 debut of the iPhone in the U.S. An amended version of the lawsuit filed in 2008 takes issue with Apple’s practice of “locking” iPhones so they cannot be used on any carrier network other than that of AT&T. The amended suit also accuses Apple of monopolizing the market for third-party iPhone applications. Noting that iPhone customers must sign a two-year contract with AT&T to receive service, the lawsuit argues that Apple’s phone lock policy in combination with its secret agreement with AT&T effectively forces iPhone users into a five-year relationship with AT&T and also drives up prices while limiting competition. Although Apple and AT&T have denied that their actions hurt competition, U.S. District Judge James Ware decided late last week to grant class action status to portions of the lawsuit that deal with potential violations of antitrust law. The class action suit covers all customers who purchased an iPhone under a twoyear contract with AT&T from the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 to the present day. In addition to seeking injunctive relief that would prohibit Apple from marketing locked iPhones to U.S customers or blocking software applications sold outside of the Apple iPhone store, the class action suit also requests unspecified monetary damages.