Germany’s T-Mobile wins court appeal to sell Apple’s iPhone exclusively

“T-Mobile can sell Apple’s sought-after iPhone exclusively locked to its own service, a German court ruled Tuesday, reversing an injunction last month requiring the company to sell an unlocked version in Europe’s biggest economy,” Matt Moore reports for The Associated Press.

“The Hamburg District Court said Tuesday that T-Mobile, part of Deutsche Telekom AG, could indeed sell the phone, coupled with a two-year contract, that could not be used on networks provided by rival wireless companies,” Moore reports.

Moore reports, “The arrangement is similar to those Apple Inc. has with other carriers around the world. In the United States, AT&T Inc. is Apple’s exclusive partner. ‘We are pleased with the outcome,’ T-Mobile spokesman Rene Bresken said. Shares of Deutsche Telekom gained 1.2 percent after the decision to 15.28 euros ($22.41) in Frankfurt.”

Moore reports, “The company will stop selling an unlocked version but said that after customers’ contracts expire, it will unlock their iPhone at no charge.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki'” for the heads up.]


  1. Poor Vodafone!

    Possibly the largest mobile network in the world in terms of subscribers shut out of selling iPhone either in its home market (UK) or any of its key foreign markets, so – as a result – forced to fight petty little battles in court to try and hold back the tide.

    As I’ve said before, Vodafone paid handsomely (extravagantly, in all truth) to acquire Mannesmann which it then transformed into Vodafone D2 (breaking its agreement to maintain the Mannesmann brand in the process); the premium was effectively because no “foreign” company had ever acquired a German industrial giant at any point since the war (with the possible exception of GM’s re-acquisition of Adam Opel AG once the shooting was over).

    Vodafone was then forced (by the UK regulators) to dispose of Orange which Mannesmann had only just acquired and was only a UK network at the time.

    So, having paid through the nose, Vodafone sold France Telecom the network that will now sell the iPhone in France and – having staked everything on 3G – the company is also in danger of being screwed in the ass by a phone that wouldn’t recognise a UMTS network if it was being around the head by a 3G radio mast.

    I never cease to be amazed by the Zen-like interconnectedness of all events in the Universe, particularly the events which come along to correct the hubris which accumulates in the arrogant – you would have thought the CEO of Vodafone would have learnt from the trials of Michael Dell or Steve Ballmer (Dances With Monkeys™), but he decided to roll the dice instead; judging from the rumours of how Vodafone dealt with the termination of its agreements with Carphone Warehouse (apparently the equivalent of being dumped by your fiancée by SMS), karma is obviously going to play a part in his life.

  2. Despite what some others think, this a HUGE win for consumers.

    Having iPhone tied to one carrier will FORCE the other carriers to come up with better phones to compete. Vodaphone won’t get to ride Apple’s coat tails for free hiding behind judges robes and bad laws.

    When other carriers lose their customers to the iPhone they will DEMAND other handset makers to create better, more compelling hardware. This was never the case before the iPhone, instead they crippled and micromanaged what the manufacturers could do with their phones.

    It will be a long time before other manufacturers come out with anything remotely similar to the iPhone in terms of usability, but they will have to or they’ll fall by the wayside. This ruling will help accelerate that process.

  3. So, what will AT&T;and Apple allow us customers in the U.S. to do with our iPhone when our 2-year contract expires? Will our 2-year-old iPhone be opened?
    I don’t plan to switch, but I would like to see AT&T;offer me an incentive to stay.

  4. > Having iPhone tied to one carrier will FORCE the other carriers to come up with better phones to compete. Vodaphone won’t get to ride Apple’s coat tails for free hiding behind judges robes and bad laws.

    @ twilightmoon

    While I agree with you, I don’t think too many customers were going to pay 999 euros for the officially unlocked iPhone. The bigger concern are the unofficially unlocked iPhones. A significant percentage of iPhones being sold are then resold as unlocked iPhones.

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