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Psystar sues Apple for Snow Leopard; "exploding" iPhones update

Clone Mac maker Psystar filed a new lawsuit this week to sell systems with Snow Leopard; Apple reveals the real cause of "exploding" iPhones; and AT&T will require all smartphone customers to have data plans.

Psystar wants to sell Snow Leopard

Florida-based Psystar is hoping to bring Apple's latest operating system to its line of knock-off Macs. In a complaint filed in a Florida court Thursday, Psystar seeks an injunction and damages due to Apple's "anticompetitive attempts to tie Mac OS X Snow Leopard to its Macintosh line of computers."

The filing claims that Psystar is entitled to be able to buy copies of Snow Leopard on the market and install them onto its own computers that it re-sells. The suit alleges that the company is already capable of installing the new operating system on its hardware.

"The Psystar computers that run Mac OS X Snow Leopard are able to do so by running software, written by Psystar, that interfaces with the open-source portion of Mac OS X Snow Leopard," the filing reads. "The manner in which Psystar computers run Mac OS X Snow Leopard is entirely different from the manner in which Psystar computers run Mac OS X Leopard."

The company asks for a court to grant an injunction requiring Apple to cease tying Snow Leopard only to official Mac computers. It also asserts that the company is entitled to a court injunction preventing Apple from blocking Psystar from selling computers with Snow Leopard.

Recently, the Florida company deposed Apple executive Phil Schiller, only to suggest he was unprepared during attorney questioning. Psystar's deposition of numerous Apple executives was part of a lawsuit filed by the official Mac maker. That trial is set to begin in California in January of 2010.

Apple: iPhones cracked from outside pressure

Denying reports from Europe that faulty batteries caused "explosive" iPhones, Apple Friday said that cracked devices turned in by French customers had damage done from an outside force.

Bloomberg reports that an Apple spokesperson said that pressure was applied to the phones to make them crack in all cases investigated. Battery overheating reportedly did not cause any of the issues.

Earlier this month, Apple began an investigation into the allegations of explosive iPhones. That review began after the European Union's consumer safety division took notice of various complaints and media reports.

The incidents gained notoriety after a British family sought a refund for an iPod touch that they claimed exploded after it was dropped. Apple reportedly responded by asking the company to keep the terms of any agreement confidential.

Required data plan to extend to all AT&T smartphones

Starting Sept. 6, all customers who buy a smartphone from AT&T will be required to have an accompanying data plan — a demand that U.S. Apple iPhone users have always had.

While the requirement will stand for new customers, those who already own a smartphone without a data plan will not be required to make the upgrade. However, the new rule will apply to those who wish to extend or make changes to their contract.

"Smartphone users tend to consume a higher amount of data services, like advanced e-mail, mobile Web, applications and more," an AT&T press release stated. "Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction, so effective Sept. 6, smartphone customers will need to subscribe to a data plan, as the vast majority of customers already do."

All U.S. iPhone subscribers must have a $30 data plan. The one-sized-fits-all subscription is a mandatory part of customers' two-year contract opened with AT&T when an iPhone is purchased.