IPhone Must Be Offered Without Contract Restrictions, German Court Rules

Last month, French law forced Apple to promise that consumers could buy a version of its iPhone in this country without having to be locked into a long-term contract with Orange, the only mobile phone operator offering the new device.Now, the same issue is tripping up Apple’s plans to sell the music-playing cellphone in Germany, the largest European telephone market. Last week, the Vodafone Group won the first round of a legal case against T-Mobile over its exclusive deal to sell the iPhone there.A German court ruled that T-Mobile must offer the iPhone to everyone, even without the 24-month contract that it had required for buyers of the phone, which went on sale in Germany for 399 euros ($591) on Nov. 9. T-Mobile is appealing the ruling.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/technology/21iphone.htmlAlso see:Fresh blow for exclusive Apple iPhone strategy
iPhone’s German partner caves in and opens the device to rival mobile networks after a legal challenge by VodafoneApple’s iPhone strategy was dealt a fresh blow today when its exclusive partner in Germany — Europe’s largest market — was forced to make the gadget available on rival networks.T-Mobile said that it would, with immediate effect, make the phone accessible to other mobile operators.The move followed a legal challenge by Vodafone which claimed that the exclusive deal — under which customers were forced to sign up to a 24-month T-Mobile contract — breached local competition laws.

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