Closing arguments begin in trial over Apple iPod, rival

“Closing arguments were delivered on Monday in an Oakland, California, federal courtroom in an antitrust trial that has cast fresh scrutiny on Apple’s onetime virtual domination of the digital music market,” Dan Levine reports for Reuters.

“The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, are seeking about $350 million in damages from Apple for unfairly blocking competing device makers. That amount would automatically triple under antitrust law,” Levine reports. “Plaintiff attorney Patrick Coughlin told jurors the 2006 software update was a “one, two punch” designed to restrict the iPod to music purchased on iTunes. ‘This is all about competition,’ Coughlin said.”

MacDailyNews Take: No, it isn’t. It’s all about you and your ilk’s summer homes and your yachts.

“However, Apple attorney William Isaacson said the evidence is ‘overwhelming’ that the software update was meant to improve consumers’ experience and protect against music theft. The new software contained many desirable features, Isaacson said, including movies and auto-synchronization,” Levine reports. “The jury will deliberate first on the sole issue of whether the update had benefits for customers. If it agrees with Apple, the company will prevail in the case. If the eight-member jury disagrees, they will deliberate on other antitrust issues, and damages.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That this has even made it to a jury is a farce.

Related articles:
Former iTunes engineer describes Apple’s ‘secret war’ against DRM hackers – December 15, 2014
Economists in iPod trial: Apple’s iPod+iTunes system was not anticompetitive – December 12, 2014
Apple goes on offensive in iPod antitrust trial – December 11, 2014
Tango-loving ice dancer recruited as plaintiff to save increasingly-ludicrous Apple iPod suit – December 10, 2014
Apple’s lawyer accuses the media of asking to see ‘a dead man’ in Steve Jobs video testimony – December 10, 2014
News organizations fight to release Steve Jobs deposition video – December 9, 2014
Judge: Apple iPod trial will continue despite no plaintiff in case – December 9, 2014
Apple’s Eddy Cue explains why DRM for music was a necessary evil – December 5, 2014
Apple iPod judge asks if lack of plaintiff dooms trial – December 5, 2014
Apple on trial: Were iTunes updates really an anti-consumer scheme?
Steve Jobs on RealNetworks in 2011 deposition: ‘Do they still exist?’ – December 3, 2014
Steve Jobs said Apple took pains to protect record contracts – December 3, 2014
Star witness in Apple lawsuit is Steve Jobs – December 1, 2014


  1. “The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses”

    Really, where exactly? Last I recall it was an attorney and his wife but his wife actually didn’t buy it, her husbands law firm did. Neither did the other person plaintiff who backed out after it was discovered they too didn’t qualify. It wasn’t until the Apple pointed out to the judge there was no plaintiff and the judge allow them to go fishing for anyone who could be substituted in place of “fill in name here” bullshit suit.

    What a farce.

  2. “The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, are seeking about $350 million in damages from Apple for unfairly blocking competing device makers.’

    Why are all the media reporting this. It is completely wrong.
    The damages are for overcharging for iPods by 7.5%.

    The previous trial that had Steve Jobs as a witness already decided that tying the iPod solely to iTunes and the iTunes store and excluding competitors was not illegal. The plaintiffs lawyers know they will get nowhere with that argument.

    The plaintiffs have had to change their tactics. They allege that Fairplay DRM tie in allowed Apple to exclude competitors, gain a monopoly and over charge for iPods by 7.5%. They paid a so called expert to write a report that calculates damages based on the price of iPods.
    Apple expert witnesses have already debunked the report and shown it had grave errors because it did not take into account new features added to new models.

    Fairplay DRM tie in had nothing to do with Apple gaining a monopoly. In fact the opposite should have happened, the least compatible, most expensive MP3 player should have had the lowest marketshare.

    Here is a report from 2006 that shows that the median or average household was purchasing 3 DRM tracks per year. That was why Steve Jobs wrote his famous ‘Thoughts on Music’ letter in 2007, he could see the writing was on the wall.

    The simple fact is the vast majority of people’s music libraries came from CDs & other sources. Apple didn’t kill competing stores, changing consumer attitudes did. Sales of music with DRM was dead at all online stores.

    The iPod became dominant because it was better than the majority of other players. iTunes although it had faults, made managing music libraries extremely easy. The iPod simply had the best ecosystem. It was also fashionable at the time, you weren’t ‘cool’ if you weren’t wearing the white earbuds.
    Apple has always been a premium brand as well. Apple Macs, iPods, iPads, iPhones and soon the Apple watches are more expensive than competing products.

    Some might argue the monopoly with iPods made them more expensive. However, iPhones, iPads and Macs don’t have a monopoly, so the price of Apple products is completely unrelated to marketshare.
    Apple have also always lowered the price of older products when new ones were released as well.

    It is also impossible to prove any correlation between iTunes store exclusivity and the price of iPods. The price of iPods would depend on dozens of factors. Price of components, number of new features, price of competing MP3 players for example.

    This evidence of Apple shutting out 100% of competitors is just a sideshow to turn the jury against Apple. It is irrelevant to the damages award.

    All the jury has to decide is if excluding Real’s Harmony tracks caused iPod prices to be inflated as a result. The simple fact is there is zero evidence of this.

    Apple did not overcharge for iPods by 7.5% There are no damages.
    Case Closed

    1. When I had a Windows laptop for work, I was counting the days for iTunes to get in Windows. I have never used anything but iTunes to manage my libraries across all systems. And now that I have Match, that system is almost entirely automated.

  3. According to Forbes they flew a Barbara Bennett – new found troll from Massachusetts to serve as the one and only plaintiff. What a joke. Wonder what old Barb’s fee is?

    Let’s get a Bio on her.

  4. As court settlement (if found guilty), Apple will provide every person violated by their iPod purchase … a replacement Zune ! This will cost Apple about $3.50 for _all_ of the replacement Zunes claimed.

    Next, Apple will be sued because OS X & iOS work only on Apple devices. This despicable business decision unnecessarily limits consumer choice.

    Jeez, Louise.

  5. The author writes that “iPods are limited to music purchased from iTunes”, but that was never the case. My first iPod had absolutely no music from iTunes. How could it have had? I tunes didn’t exist. All my music was from CDs or other sources. I can’t quite recall with those “other sources” we’re but it sure wasn’t Real.

    1. Such is the nature of punditry for the last 20 years. The willful misconceptions and blatant lies casually tossed around is something Apple supporters have been fighting for years, but these partisan lies ( yes, they are lies, let’s be honest) fit a narrative and old habits die hard. Even when Apple was amassing a cash pile more valuable than a dozen nations, there were no end of retards speaking of Apple as if it’s days were numbered. This is what continued misinformation breeds: the casual dissemination of lies.

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