It was a short, but sweet, love affair for the iPhone and the open telecoms market in Germany, when German courts temporarily ruled that the much-desired handset was not allowed to be sold solely in conjunction with carrier T-Mobile.
While iPhone users in the UK and US were locked into an 18-month contract with their operator, German consumers briefly had to option to buy a SIM-free, unlocked phone for a steep €999, from 21 November until now.
Today the temporary injunction against T-Mobile was lifted and Vodafone’s attempt to create an open market for the iPhone in Germany failed.
Now all iPhones on sale in Germany are locked into a two-year contract with T-Mobile, although the handset initially costs €399.
Vodafone UK said it will not be pursuing the same line of fire in British courts, due to differing telecoms and competition legislation.
Meanwhile, Orange France is currently offering the iPhone without a price plan for €549, with an option to unlock the handset for an extra €100.
The demand for an unlocked iPhone would seem quite high, with Apple itself estimating that well over 250,000 iPhones have been sold to consumers in the US alone who have then gone on to unlock the handset and use it on a different mobile network.
By Marie Boran