Court lets T-Mobile sell locked iPhones in Germany

[IDG] T-Mobile Germany need not sell an unlocked version of Apple’s iPhone, a court in Hamburg ruled Tuesday.The decision leaves the German operator free to sell the phone for €399 ($585) including tax, tied to its network and with a two-year service contract, just as it proposed at the phone’s German launch on Nov. 9.Rival Vodafone filed suit against T-Mobile on Nov. 19, alleging that the sale of locked phones tied to a two-year contract breached German consumer protection laws. see:T-Mobile Germany stops selling unlocked iPhones
A German court has overturned an injunction that had forced T-Mobile to sell unlocked iPhones in that country.A German court has decided to grant T-Mobile exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in Germany, overturning a temporary injunction granted against the operator two weeks ago.Apple’s strategy for the iPhone has been to grant one operator in each country exclusive rights to sell the handset. In return, Apple takes an unspecified cut of the revenues generated by customers’ iPhone contracts. In late November, wireless operator Vodafone Group complained that T-Mobile, which won the German exclusivity deal to sell the handset, was being anticompetitive by not allowing the handset to be used on other networks, while locking users into 24-month contracts.

T-Mobile Can Keep iPhone Excusive German Court Rules
German consumers eager to obtain an unlocked phone can still go to bordering France and purchase an iPhone from France Telecom’s Orange service provider.Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit is back offering locked iPhones on an exclusive contract basis Tuesday after a German court dismissed an earlier injunction of two weeks ago that led to a brief period in which the mobile phone was offered on a standalone basis.DT said it will now offer iPhones with contracts exclusively. During the period the injunction was in effect, T-Mobile, the largest mobile phone service provider in Germany, offered unlocked iPhones for $1,481, a price high enough to discourage sales. Court Leaves T-Mobile, Vodafone on Hold for iPhone Ruling [AP]
Apple and European telecoms must wait another day to learn the iPhone’s fate in Germany. A German court has delayed until Tuesday a decision it was expected to make Monday. At issue is whether the iPhone can be tied to a single carrier there. Apple had exclusively partnered with T-Mobile for its German iPhone operations, but rival Vodafone went to court to fight that arrangement.

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