Infrastructure
News
11/21/2007
12:08 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

T-Mobile To Sell iPhone In Germany Unlocked and Without A Contract

The company will offer the iPhone for 999 euros ($1,480) without a contract and for 399 euros with a two-year contract.

Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit in Germany said Wednesday that it will offer the iPhone unlocked and without a contract following an injunction on its iPhone sales that had been issued by a German court.

DT said it will offer the iPhone for 999 euros ($1,480) without a contract and for 399 euros for consumers making a two-year commitment to the phone. The issue was brought to a head by Vodafone Group, the second largest mobile phone service provider in Germany. Vodafone sued DT in German courts.

Vodafone, which owns 45% of Verizon Wireless in the U.S., said it did not plan to challenge Apple's exclusive iPhone deals in other countries. The T-Mobile decision to offer the iPhone unlocked and without a contract goes to the heart of the "openness" issue that has been challenging the mobile phone business worldwide. In the U.S., Google's Open Handset Alliance seeks to open up cell phone access across different service providers.

Regulations governing the marketing of cell phones and cell phone service varies from country to country in Europe; Vodafone took advantage of German regulations and charged DT's T-Mobile operation violated competition laws. With France Telecom preparing to launch the iPhone in France next week, the exclusivity issue could be raised there, too.

In the U.S., Apple has an exclusive arrangement with AT&T to market the iPhone. There is some irony in DT's situation in the U.S. where its T-Mobile unit can't market the iPhone while its parent company has been forced to offer the coveted phone to all comers in Germany.

The $1,480 high price for a standalone iPhone is likely to put a lid on single sales of the phone, but the opening up of mobile phone networks in Germany could lead to bootleg sales of the phone acquired elsewhere.

While DT moved to comply with the orders issued by the German court in Hamburg, it noted that the dispute will be examined in detail at a hearing in two weeks; in the meantime, DT said it is reserving the right to claim damages from Vodafone.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A UBM Tech Radio episode on the changing economics of Flash storage used in data tiering -- sponsored by Dell.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.