Voda upsets German Apple cart

James Middleton

November 21, 2007

1 Min Read
Voda upsets German Apple cart

Californian cool peddler Apple, has had a spanner thrown into the works of its German iPhone strategy and could be forced to sell an unlocked version of the device in the country.

On Tuesday it emerged that Vodafone Germany had won an injunction against the iPhone’s exclusive German carrier, T-Mobile, forcing the company to sell a version of the device without a lock to the network.

Vodafone claims it could have forced an outright ban on the sale of the wonder phone altogether, but insists its only intention was to level the playing field by forcing T-Mobile to make the device available across all its tariffs and even as a standalone product.

The nature of the injunction, which T-Mobile is appealing, sounds very similar to an element of French law, which also forces companies to sell products on a standalone basis if they are to be tied to networks. Orange France will launch the iPhone in the country on November 29, weeks later than the UK and Germany because of lengthy deliberations to try and beat the local law.

Laws preventing consumers from being forced to buy an accompanying product or service alongside an exclusive one are actually prevalent in Europe and will likely crop up if Apple attempts to launch the iPhone in Italy or Finland for example. The UK is the only notable exception that springs to mind.

As of yet, it does not appear that T-Mobile, or Apple, are making a SIM-free version of the device available in Germany. The T-Mobile exclusive version is still available for sale on the company’s website. 

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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