Australian law could bar exclusive iPhone deals?

“The release of Apple’s iPhone in Australia could be illegal under current trade practices laws, according to a group of Queensland law researchers,” AAP reports.

“The legal hiccup could delay the arrival of the must-have gadget phone, which is expected in Asia and Australia some time this year,” AAP reports. “However, some are concerned that the phone’s exclusivity deals with mobile carriers is anti-competitive. ‘The iPhone is breaking new ground in using technology to restrict customer’s choice in technology markets,’ Queensland University of Technology (QUT) law researcher Dale Clapperton said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Axe, meet your grinder, Dale.

AAP continues, “Apple employ a similar strategy in Australia it could fall foul of the Trade Practices Act provision dealing with third-line forcing. ‘This law will greatly simplify the task of seeking redress for such behaviour through the courts and could prove a deterrent for exclusive release of the iPhone with one carrier,’ Mr Clapperton said.”

“The situation would be different to what currently exists in Australia, where mobile phone carriers can SIM-lock a phone to prevent its use on another network,” AAP reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Need more input, Stephanie. What exactly would be different if an Apple-partnered carrier locked an iPhone to prevent its use on other networks as part of an exclusive deal?

AAP reports, “Mr Clapperton believes any future release of the iPhone in Australia should be non-exclusive.”

MacDailyNews Take: No, you don’t say, really?

Full article here.

27 Comments

  1. With a twist, isn’t this good for Apple? Look at it from this perspective: Apple says, “If you want to work with iPhones, we get a share of the revenue.” Just like the AT&T;deal. Except by law, it’s non-exclusive. Carrier 1 says, “HECK, yeah. They sell like hotcakes! we’ll give up 10%”. Carrier 2 says, “We want to sell iPhones, too! and we’ll give up 15% or the revenue”. Apple is no longer “stuck” in an exclusive deal with Carrier 1 and can work both deals. Everyone is happy (except the carrier who WANTS an exclusive)

  2. Apple had the same problem in France. They have 2 prices in France, one with and the other without a contract. Apple gets their missing share up front if there is no contract.

    I think they should offer the higher without contract priced iPhone now at the online Apple Store. Give them a rebate if they set up the contract with an approved wireless group later. Done!

  3. I live here in Oz and I have talked with the top three mobile carriers about the “Unfair Trade Practices Act” and they say that they can have an exclusive with a phone but the phone has to be unlocked. What does that mean? Well, if they have an exclusive – they will be able to provide all the services that the phone offers. Whilst the other carriers will have the phone but not offer all of the services. I feel that it will either be Telstra (sounds of retching, ralphing, puking) or Optus (sounds of heavenly choirs singing). Obviously, I have my personal choice here. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Apple will need to be G3 here to win the market though. Telstra is going exclusivly G3 and Optus is headed that way. So, Australia may just be good for the rest of the world. I know it is the Lucky country.

    Oh by the way, it is Tuesday here and no new stuff in the Apple Store. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. MDN, another request. Consider noting when a web site will NOT allow you to comment. I tend to ignore those sites as they proclaim then wash their hands of everything. Why read something when you cannot comment back.???

    Note, If one can sim lock a phone, just how is that different than …. er …… well, Apple iPhones only work with their sim card that only works with one carrier. Isnt that the same thing???

    en

  5. MDN, another request. Consider noting when a web site will NOT allow you to comment. I tend to ignore those sites as they proclaim then wash their hands of everything. Why read something when you cannot comment back.???

    Note, If one can sim lock a phone, just how is that different than …. er …… well, Apple iPhones only work with their sim card that only works with one carrier. Isnt that the same thing???

    en

  6. MDN, another request. Consider noting when a web site will NOT allow you to comment. I tend to ignore those sites as they proclaim then wash their hands of everything. Why read something when you cannot comment back.???

    Note, If one can sim lock a phone, just how is that different than …. er …… well, Apple iPhones only work with their sim card that only works with one carrier. Isnt that the same thing???

    en

  7. MDN, another request. Consider noting when a web site will NOT allow you to comment. I tend to ignore those sites as they proclaim then wash their hands of everything. Why read something when you cannot comment back.???

    Note, If one can sim lock a phone, just how is that different than …. er …… well, Apple iPhones only work with their sim card that only works with one carrier. Isnt that the same thing???

    en

  8. MDN, another request. Consider noting when a web site will NOT allow you to comment. I tend to ignore those sites as they proclaim then wash their hands of everything. Why read something when you cannot comment back.???

    Note, If one can sim lock a phone, just how is that different than …. er …… well, Apple iPhones only work with their sim card that only works with one carrier. Isnt that the same thing???

    en

  9. MDN, another request. Consider noting when a web site will NOT allow you to comment. I tend to ignore those sites as they proclaim then wash their hands of everything. Why read something when you cannot comment back.???

    Note, If one can sim lock a phone, just how is that different than …. er …… well, Apple iPhones only work with their sim card that only works with one carrier. Isnt that the same thing???

    en

  10. MDN Heads up;

    Heads up;
    In case you haven’t noticed, whether or not it’s “the same thing” or not, locking a SIM to a carrier in the USA is perfectly legal.
    The story is about whether or not it’s legal in Australia.

  11. Well if other carriers in Australia can sign exclusive deals with mobile phone manufacturers and lock them to their network for the duration of the contract period, what would be so different about the iPhone?

    Answer – Nothing!

    This ‘researcher’ is a twit.

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