Germany's T-Mobile to offer iPhone without contract to comply with court order
7:43 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2007
BERLIN - Deutsche Telekom AG's mobile unit said Wednesday it would offer Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone without a contract to comply with a court injunction issued after Vodafone challenged T-Mobile's exclusive lock on the handset.
T-Mobile will start selling the phone for euro999 (US$1,477) immediately as well as continuing to offer it for the discounted euro399 (US$590) in combination with a two-year contract, the company said in a press release.
The iPhone made its German debut on Nov. 9 _ available only with the two-year contract from T-Mobile. The German unit of rival Vodafone protested that practice at a state court in Hamburg.
The court issued an injunction, dated Nov. 12, barring T-Mobile from offering the iPhone exclusively with the minimum 24-month contract, and also from selling it only with a so-called SIM lock that prevents users from switching the device to any other operator's network.
T-Mobile said any customer can now also have the SIM lock on their phone removed _ including those who have already purchased the iPhone.
T-Mobile said in its statement that it would abide by the conditions "until the legal situation is resolved." The company could not immediately be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, T-Mobile said it would appeal the injunction and it also said it reserves the right to consider seeking damages.
The new phone is not operating on Europe's fastest, so-called 3G networks, but is relying on a different technology called EDGE. T-Mobile argued that it is the only carrier to offer EDGE across Germany.
The iPhone is a combined cell phone and iPod media player that also can access the Internet wirelessly.
Vodafone could not immediately be reached for comment.