Vodafone seeks order to stop iPhone sales in Germany

20 Nov 2007

Vodafone’s German division has petitioned a German court to halt T-Mobile selling the Apple iPhone because of its concerns about the exclusive nature of the pact between Apple and T-Mobile.

The nub of the matter is the 24-month T-Mobile contract and the marketing behind the offer.

Vodafone also questions Apple getting a share of revenue arising from T-Mobile’s iPhone sales in Germany.

A restraining order prohibiting the sale of the iPhone was issued by a Hamburg court and another German mobile operator Debitel has lodged a complaint with Germany’s telecoms operators about the T-Mobile/Apple deal.

It is understood that Vodafone is objecting to the fact that the iPhone can be used only on Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile networks, and it has questioned the three pricing packages, all of which are tied to two-year contracts between the phone user and T-Mobile.

Under the two-week court injunction T-Mobile is prohibited from offering the iPhone if it is only offered in combination with a mobile phone contract that runs for at least 24 months.

The prohibition also applies if the iPhone offered by T-Mobile comes with a SIM-lock, which means the handset can only be used to access T-Mobile’s network and if the buyers can’t unlock it, free of charge.

Newswire reports suggest T-Mobile is continuing to sell the devices despite the injunction.

By John Kennedy