iPhone Ready For Paris Debut, Sales Rules Challenged In Germany - InformationWeek

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iPhone Ready For Paris Debut, Sales Rules Challenged In Germany

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in a Hamburg court on Deutsche Telekom's appeal of the injunction won by Vodafone that forced the unbundling of the iPhone.

With Apple's iPhone poised to debut in France without a mandatory service contract on Wednesday, the only service provider currently offering the coveted phone without a service contract -- Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile -- has filed an appeal in a German court challenging the injunction that forced it to change its iPhone sales approach.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in a Hamburg court on Deutsche Telekom's appeal of the injunction won by Vodafone, the second largest mobile phone service provider in Germany. DT began offering the iPhone at 999 euros (about $1,500) without a service contract after Vodafone protested the bundling of the iPhone with T-Mobile's service contract.

A similar scenario appears to be playing out in France as Orange prepares to introduce the iPhone, reportedly without a service contract. Like T-Mobile, it is expected to set a price so high that sales for standalone iPhones will be discouraged. Orange hasn't formally released details on its iPhone rollout, but a French publication leaked Orange's plans.

According to the report, Orange will offer a two-year service contract with an iPhone for a total of about $1,754; monthly service will include two hours of communications usage, 10 hours of Wi-Fi connection, and unlimited e-mails. Orange is reportedly planning to offer the iPhone at a high price on a standalone basis, but it hasn't released the final price yet.

Telecommunications regulations differ from country to country in Europe, making it possible for competitors of Orange and T-Mobile to challenge bundled mobile phone/service plan contracts.

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom has reserved rights to pursue damage claims against Vodafone.

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