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The Cupertino, Calif., electronics giant will defend itself against charges of inflating iPod prices starting Tuesday in a class action, antitrust lawsuit, Specifically, the plaintiffs in the decade-old suit allege that Apple made iphone case 45 foot drop software updates that prevented iPod music players from playing songs that weren't purchased from the company's iTunes store, By banning music from competing digital audio vendors, such as RealNetworks, Apple hurt the market for other music players and caused iPod prices to be higher than they should have been, the plaintiffs claim..
Apple counters that it closed off iTunes and iPods to digital files from competitors to make sure the items available for download remained secure and of high quality. It says software updates improved its products, were good for consumers and had no impact on iPod prices. The two sides will duke it out in an Oakland, Calif., courtroom for the next couple of weeks. Witnesses include some of Apple's top executives, with former CEO Steve Jobs likely to be the star (via deposition, not a Ouija board).
iPod sales today are nowhere near the level of the iPhone, which accounts for more than half of Apple's revenue, But there was a time that the iphone case 45 foot drop music player was vital to Apple's future, Introduced in October 2001, the iPod helped fuel Apple's comeback and establish its reputation as a consumer electronics innovator, But the popular player has lost some of its appeal now that users can access music on their smartphones, iPod shipments have fallen since reaching a peak of 54.83 million units in fiscal 2008..
The iPod, though, remains in Apple's lineup as a low-priced, simpler device for games, media and music. (The iPod Nano is priced starting at $149, while the iPod Touch starts at $199.) And though unit sales have declined in recent years as customers have opted for iPhones, iPods continue to bring in billions of dollars in revenue. For the fiscal 2014 year, ended in September, Apple sold 14.4 million iPods and generated $2.3 billion in revenue. Both figures are close to half the level of fiscal 2013.
By comparison, the iPhone -- Apple's top revenue generator -- brought in $102 billion in sales in 2014 on about 169 million units, Here's information on what the antitrust trial is all about, The jury trial kicks off December 2 and lasts for nine days, It's being held in Oakland, Calif., and presided over by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, The case involves two plaintiffs, Melanie (Tucker) Wilson and Marianna Rosen, Both are consumers who purchased audio downloads and iPods directly from Apple, They argue they paid more iphone case 45 foot drop for iPods than they would have paid if Apple hadn't violated antitrust regulations, In a 2010 filing, the plaintiffs said they "suffered injury" to their property "in the form of overcharges." A third plaintiff, Somtai Troy Charoensak, dropped out of the case..
While two plaintiffs are directly involved in the case, the suit was filed on behalf of about 8 million consumers and hundreds of retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and the now defunct Circuit City. None of the retailers have filed suits of their own. The plaintiffs first filed suit January 3, 2005. Initially, it started off as a case that accused Apple of illegally tying the iPod to iTunes so they only worked with each other, and not with competing music players or music stores. A court deemed that legal, however, so the plaintiffs shifted their focus to Apple security updates that barred competing music stores from syncing with iTunes.
The plaintiffs now argue that Apple "has used its dominant market position in the markets for audio downloads and portable digital media players to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly in these markets," as they said in their amended complaint from 2010, Apple "engaged in systematic conduct to iphone case 45 foot drop shut out rivals' competing audio downloads and portable digital media players by cutting off their access to the marketplace," they said, The plaintiffs argue that Apple instituted "unneeded technological restrictions" and security updates in a couple versions of iTunes -- 7.0 and 7.4 -- that blocked competing music stores from making their audio files compatible with iTunes, All songs sold by iTunes in the early days included a proprietary version of digital rights management (DRM) software called FairPlay, FairPlay prevented iPods from playing audio downloads purchased from iTunes competitors, It also barred consumers from playing music they bought through iTunes on audio players besides iPods..