Vodafone Balks at T-Mobile iPhone Deal

November 21st, 2007 - 12:29 am ICT by admin  

A German court has ordered T-Mobile to change its marketing campaign for Apple’s iPhone and has issued a restraining order prohibiting the company from selling the Mac-maker’s handset.

Vodafone’s German unit is behind the action. 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.

“We’re not taking any plans to replicate these actions anywhere else, or in the UK,” a Vodafone spokesperson was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying. “It’s a different regulatory environment. We believe it’s more to do with a breach of local German laws.”

Vodafone vs. T-Mobile

The court order does not demand T-Mobile stop selling the iPhones altogether, but does, at least temporarily, prohibit the company from selling them with a two-year contract. The court has mandated that the product be allowed to function on other carriers’ networks.

Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile Deutschland, could not be reached for comment, but in a published statement early Tuesday, T-Mobile Deutschland said that it reserves the right to claim damages from Vodafone, which operates the second-largest wireless network in Germany. T-Mobile, with 34 million customers, is the largest there.

Although no one has been willing to go on the record to discuss what the exclusive arrangements are, said Avi Greengart, a wireless analyst at Current Analysis, Apple has a revenue-sharing arrangement with its iPhone carriers in the U.S. and in Europe.

“I’ve seen lots of financial analysts coming up with numbers that they clearly developed using a calculator, a napkin, a pen — and a lot of imagination,” Greengart quipped, alluding to the speculation surrounding AT&T’s five-year exclusive deal with Apple to sell the iPhone.

Revenue Sharing

Greengart said he figures the world will know sooner or later the extent of the revenue-sharing agreements because…

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