Claim forms go out to 'Apple Class Members' for iPad 3G unlimited data lawsuit

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As part of a proposed settlement over AT&T's cancellation of unlimited iPad data plans, a batch of eligibility claim forms were sent out to the suit's class members, or consumers who purchased Apple's first-generation iPad with 3G cellular connectivity.

On Wednesday, the forms were distributed via email to customers who ordered a 3G-enabled iPad on or before June 7, 2010, and asks that Apple Class Members submit the provided personal claim number to be eligible to receive benefits from a joint settlement proposed by Apple and AT&T.

By submitting the claim form, class members will be affirming that the ability to switch in and out of AT&T's now defunct unlimited iPad data plan was a factor in their decision to purchase Apple's tablet.

In September, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte approved a settlement from both Apple and AT&T that proposed Apple will pay $40 to every U.S. resident who bought or ordered a first-gen iPad with cellular connectivity.

By settling, Apple and AT&T are avoiding costly court fees, and the notice points out that the terms are not an admission of guilt by either party.

The class action suit deals with AT&T's decision to do away with unlimited iPad plans first offered when the tablet debuted in 2010. As some customers may have purchased one or more iPads based on the promise of flexible data plans, the telecom's abrupt axing of the program warrants damages, the suit says.

Following the shutoff of unlimited iPad data, AT&T offered tiered plans capped at 2GB per month, but iPad owners can now go as high as 5GB per month. Those who signed up for unlimited data were allowed to keep their month-to-month plans under the condition that there be no break in payments. It is unknown how many of these "grandfathered" accounts remain active.

In addition to the $40 payout, eligible class members are also be entitled to a discount of $20 per month on AT&T's current 5GB tier offering, bringing the end cost down to $30 per month. If AT&T changes pricing, the $20 discount will applied to the new cost structure.


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