T-Mobile Unlocks iPhone in Germany — At A Price

November 24th, 2007 - 12:04 am ICT by admin  

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile has bowed to the demands of a German court. On Monday, the court had ordered the company to change its marketing campaign for Apple’s iPhone and issued a restraining order prohibiting the company from selling the Mac-maker’s handset.

T-Mobile said on Wednesday that it would change the terms of the exclusive contract it forged with Apple and allow the iPhone to operate on rival networks. T-Mobile will sell the device for 999 euros (about US$1,477) without mandating a two-year exclusive contract, however the original deal for 399 euro ($590) with a contract attached is also still available. By way of comparison, the Nokia N95 sells for 199.95 euros ($295.63) with a contract, or 619.95 euros ($916.60) without one.

Reversing the Damage

Vodafone’s German unit was behind the action to stop T-Mobile from banking on its exclusive deal with Apple. The company petitioned the court to block sales of the iPhone in Germany until its complaints about an exclusive agreement between Apple and T-Mobile are addressed.

German customers who purchased the iPhone after the court’s ruling can have their phones unlocked to work with any other operator, however, many of the functions will only be available to T-Mobile customers with the complete tariff package, according to published statements from the company.

Apple’s exclusivity strategy has also faced challenges in France. When the iPhone goes on sale there next week, Apple won’t be allowed to require customers to sign up with — and only with — service provider Orange. There has been yet no challenge to Apple’s exclusive arrangement with O2 in Britain. The difference: Germany and France both have antitying laws that prohibit such restrictions.

Apple’s Stateside Woes

Apple’s exclusive deal with AT&T has ruffled plenty of feathers in the United States. Although other mobile carriers have not challenged the deal, consumers have attacked…

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