Former Apple engineer testifies that the iPod was originally designed to block all non iTunes clients

Former Apple engineer testifies that the iPod was originally designed to block all non iTunes clients
The federal antitrust suit against Apple, that featured a video deposition from the late Steve Jobs, is still underway in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California. The plaintiffs are seeking $350 million from Apple, for not allowing certain early versions of the Apple iPod to work with other music clients besides iTunes. The plaintiffs claim that by allowing only iTunes to connect with these iPod models, it caused the device to artificially rise in price from 2006 through 2009.

On Friday, former iTunes engineer Rod Schultz took the stand. Subpoenaed by the plaintiffs, Schultz classified himself as an unwilling witness, not wanting to talk about his work on iTunes from 2006-2007. On the stand, Schultz admitted that he worked on a project designed to block non-iTunes clients from being used on the iPod. He also worked on keeping third-party devices, competitors to the iPod, away from iTunes. Apple claims that it needed to lock down the iPod to protect the device and users' experience, which could have been negatively affected by other music clients and third-party devices.

The two original plaintiffs involved in the suit have both pulled out of the trial. It turns out that both of them purchased their respective Apple iPod units outside of the Sept. 12, 2006 to March 31, 2009 time period that the suit covers.

Schultz is the last witness in the trial. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers plans on turning the case over to the jury for deliberations early next week. Under the Antitrust laws, the jury could triple the damages to more than $1 billion.

source: WSJ


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