T-Mobile forced to sell iPhone unlocked in Germany


T-Mobile has said customers who buy Apple’s iPhone in Germany will no longer be required to sign up to a two-year T-Mobile contract, after Vodafone successfully won a court injunction against the network.

The iPhone is now on sale in Germany, unlocked, for €999, and will remain so until the dispute is settled in court. No date for the hearing has been given yet.

Vodafone’s German subsidiary had claimed that T-Mobile’s terms of sale for the iPhone unfairly discourage its own customers from using the gadget.

T-Mobile said it will consider seeking damages from Vodafone and will appeal the injunction. It claimed its network is the only one in Germany to enable the iPhone’s full functionality countrywide. It also said the device would continue to be on sale with a T-Mobile contract for €399.

"T-Mobile is obviously not convinced that its own phone plans are very attractive if it charges a penalty of €600 for buying the iPhone without a contract," said a Vodafone spokeswoman.

"What is important to us now is that this case is cleared up by the district court in Hamburg so that customers know what they are dealing with."

Separately, German mobile-services provider Debitel lodged a complaint against Deutsche Telekom with the German grid regulator, saying the iPhone terms violates mobile licence conditions.