Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > iOS Blog Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old May 26, 2013, 09:56 PM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
EU Regulators Questioning Carriers Over Apple's iPhone Contract Demands




Back in March, we reported that European Union regulators were beginning to take a look at Apple's contracts with carriers, questioning whether Apple's strict terms regarding sales commitments and other factors have amounted to anti-competitive behavior.

Financial Times now reports that the EU is ramping up its interest in Apple's policies, sending out questionnaires to the carriers in order to gather more information about their agreements with Apple.
Quote:
The nine-page questionnaire sent to telecoms groups primarily relates to sales practices, including whether Apple forces groups to buy a minimum number of iPhones, restrictions on the use of marketing budgets, and clauses that ensure Apple is always offered no worse subsidies and sales terms than other smartphone makers.

It also asks whether Apple places technical or contractual restrictions on the iPhone 5 that mean it cannot be used on high-speed 4G networks in Europe.
While regulators are clearly focused on Apple's behavior, they do acknowledge that competition in the smartphone market has increased, with Samsung rapidly gaining ground and even Nokia and BlackBerry contributing viable alternatives for customers.

The carriers have until June 17 to respond to the questionnaires, and the European Commission will use the results to help it decide whether to launch a formal probe into Apple's tactics.

Article Link: EU Regulators Questioning Carriers Over Apple's iPhone Contract Demands
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
thacube
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
why wouldn't apple want the iphone 5 on high speed 4g in europe?
thacube is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2013, 10:25 PM   #3
macs4nw
macrumors 68020
 
macs4nw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: On Safari…..
It seems not a day goes by that APPLE isn't under the microscope somewhere.
An excellent incentive to run the company squeaky-clean. What other company could stand this kind of intense scrutiny? Go
__________________
Due to my aversion to bragging and clichés, no words of wisdom to be found on this line.....
macs4nw is offline   10 Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2013, 10:34 PM   #4
genovelle
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2008
I'm sure some anonymous concerned party (competitor) lodged a complaint. If apple requires a commitment to invest in making their popular phone compatible with a certain carrier and the carrier clearly as other options, them what have they done wrong? These same companies benefit from Apple's loyal customers and marketing. Many of the phone companies don't promote the iPhone once the get going. they push any and every other phone.
genovelle is online now   7 Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2013, 11:33 PM   #5
diazj3
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post
I'm sure some anonymous concerned party (competitor) lodged a complaint.
Oh, sure! Because Apple NEVER does anything wrong to customers or clients. Any complain must be the product of a competitor's envy,and nothing else. Always.

[/s]
diazj3 is offline   9 Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2013, 11:37 PM   #6
charlituna
macrumors 604
 
charlituna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by thacube View Post
why wouldn't apple want the iphone 5 on high speed 4g in europe?
of course they would want it. But if it's like the US where there are flavors of cell service they might not be supporting every single variant, which the EU could see as one of those 'technical restrictions'
charlituna is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 26, 2013, 11:58 PM   #7
ArtOfWarfare
macrumors 603
 
ArtOfWarfare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Send a message via Skype™ to ArtOfWarfare
Quote:
Originally Posted by thacube View Post
why wouldn't apple want the iphone 5 on high speed 4g in europe?
It's an engineering tactic: make your product competitive, but leave yourself room for improvement for the next generation. It's a way of easily making repeat customers (they'll buy this year's model without feature X and next year's with feature X - even though feature X was ready in time for last year's model) and repeat (aka loyal) customers are worth a lot more than one time customers - not only will they empty their own wallet for you - they'll encourage their friends to do the same.

I'm not saying that's what Apple did here - I'm just giving it as a potential reason.
ArtOfWarfare is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 12:18 AM   #8
Mackan
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
This should be front page news instead of some home button part leak, or an analyst taking ********.

You can bet that under the surface, there's a lot of dirty tactics going on, that you as consumer should be aware of.
Mackan is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 01:34 AM   #9
KiwiAdventure
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Zealand
It is against the law in a lot of countries to price fix and tell retailers you must sell at this price. If retailers want to sell products at below cost or even more then recommended retail price Apple cannot stop this under any means.

The one thing Apple has is all their products has good resale value.
KiwiAdventure is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 02:07 AM   #10
DMH3006
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
I see no issues.
Of course if Apple can ensure they'll buy a minimum of devices they will,its just good business as are the clauses that they can't be offered worse subsidies than other companies.
DMH3006 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 02:09 AM   #11
roadbloc
macrumors 604
 
roadbloc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by macs4nw View Post
It seems not a day goes by that APPLE isn't under the microscope somewhere.
An excellent incentive to run the company squeaky-clean. What other company could stand this kind of intense scrutiny? Go
When a company is on virgin territory, it is wise to keep an eye on it. Just like Microsoft throughout the 90s.
__________________
roadbloc is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 02:50 AM   #12
NightFox
macrumors 65816
 
NightFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Shropshire, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMH3006 View Post
I see no issues.
Of course if Apple can ensure they'll buy a minimum of devices they will,its just good business as are the clauses that they can't be offered worse subsidies than other companies.
Whilst it may be good business to use a position of strength (i.e. carriers can't afford not to carry the iPhone), it's also often not in the consumers' interest to allow companies to exploit this type of advantage to the extent that it can dictate and manipulate the market.

In some ways I like the fact the Apple has turned around the carrier/supplier relationship, I don't have to suffer a carrier's splash screen and bloatware on a carrier-crippled device when I use my iPhone like I always used to have to when carriers called the shots, but when it comes down to trying to gain an unfair advantage that isn't open to the competition then I think the EU is right to step in to ensure the playing field remains level and consumers don't lose out.
__________________
2013 Mac Pro 6x3.5GHz :: MacBook Pro 13" 2.53GHz :: iPad 3 64GB :: iPho... Oh, you've gone.
NightFox is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 03:08 AM   #13
Smartass
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
It also asks whether Apple places technical or contractual restrictions on the iPhone 5 that mean it cannot be used on high-speed 4G networks in Europe.
This i've noticed that also, you cannot use LTE with my operator since apple didnt "approve it" (because they're not selling iphones). How dumb is that, year 2013 and you need an "apple approved operator" so you can have LTE on your phone?
Smartass is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 04:19 AM   #14
abz1981
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Well I am for one glad of this probe by the European Union only for the technical restrictions of the Iphone 5. Apple should have ensured that they enabled 800mhz band support for LTE in the Iphone 5. As 90% of European Carriers are unable to support LTE due to them having 800mhz LTE bands only.

So hopefully Apple will release some sort of update to the existing Iphone 5 in order for it to support 800mhz LTE band or if they bring out the Iphone 5S to allow some sort of trade in exchange for current Iphone 5 users to obtain Iphone 5S to support all LTE bands.
__________________
13.3" Macbook Air 2011, 1.7GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128GB flash storage; Apple Iphone 5 16GIG Black.
abz1981 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 04:35 AM   #15
Sincci
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Finland
Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
So hopefully Apple will release some sort of update to the existing Iphone 5 in order for it to support 800mhz LTE band or if they bring out the Iphone 5S to allow some sort of trade in exchange for current Iphone 5 users to obtain Iphone 5S to support all LTE bands.
This really isn't something that Apple would ever do.. their only solution for those people who wish to have a full support for all LTE bands is to buy a new phone.

Besides, it's not enough just to have support for 800Mhz, they really need to have a support for 2600Mhz too since most of the Nordic countries have build majority of their LTE networks based on that band.
Sincci is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 05:15 AM   #16
abz1981
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sincci View Post
This really isn't something that Apple would ever do.. their only solution for those people who wish to have a full support for all LTE bands is to buy a new phone.

Besides, it's not enough just to have support for 800Mhz, they really need to have a support for 2600Mhz too since most of the Nordic countries have build majority of their LTE networks based on that band.
In that case they should support all LTE bands. I do not see why a new phone should have to be purchased. Yes it may be an idea of getting more customers and making money. however there should be some sort of loyalty option for existing customers. Dont get me wrong, I am not apple bashing or anything. I love my apple products. But this situation with the Ip5 gets me annoyed.
__________________
13.3" Macbook Air 2011, 1.7GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128GB flash storage; Apple Iphone 5 16GIG Black.
abz1981 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 05:21 AM   #17
majkom
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: May 2011
Apple tried to take some power from telcos... and almost succeeded, unfortunately android gave that power back to those evil companies.. so for me, whatever apple does to weaken telcos, I am in.. go !
majkom is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 05:33 AM   #18
BBCWatcher
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
...whether Apple forces groups to buy a minimum number of iPhones, restrictions on the use of marketing budgets, and clauses that ensure Apple is always offered no worse subsidies and sales terms than other smartphone makers.
None of these sales practices are anticompetitive legally speaking and in the abstract. Absolute minimum quantity sales commitments are generally OK as long as they're not tied to percentages of a carrier's overall sales volumes, for example. If Apple funds marketing then Apple should have the right to set reasonable rules for how those funds are used -- but Apple cannot dictate how other marketing funds are used (except to prohibit outright disparagement), nor can Apple tie a carrier's marketing funds to a percentage of the carrier's overall marketing budget, for example. "Most favored pricing" contracts are generally OK too as long as the carrier is free to strike identical "most favored" contracts with other equipment manufacturers.

The EU needs to be careful not to confuse a strong negotiator able to secure highly favorable contract terms due to its strong products with an anticompetitive negotiator that is doing something illegal. Generally speaking Apple knows exactly where the line is between aggressive negotiation and illegal anticompetitive behavior. Also, the EU needs to be careful not to protect incumbent carrier cartels. The EU governments granted the carriers wireless spectrum franchises which are limited in supply. There are no comparable barriers to entry among smartphone manufacturers. Apple may have succeeded in shifting profits from carriers to Apple, but to the extent that's happened the shift has only accrued to the benefit of consumers who can choose among a wide variety of Apple and non-Apple smartphones to use on networks that charge much lower rates for voice and data services. In other words, Apple may have helped tame the carrier cartels which then increased the overall market and boosted the fortunes of Apple's competitors (including Samsung and Google) over those same carriers that can no longer charge as much for more open networks. It would be ironic and sad if the EU penalized Apple for what seems to be a pro-consumer accomplishment.
BBCWatcher is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 05:50 AM   #19
booksacool1
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by majkom View Post
Apple tried to take some power from telcos... and almost succeeded, unfortunately android gave that power back to those evil companies.. so for me, whatever apple does to weaken telcos, I am in.. go !
What? Apple was the company which allowed carriers to disable hotspot, 3G facetime and large apps over 3G.

Carriers might not be able to brand iOS but Apple has certainly made concessions.
__________________
MBP SR 2.4ghz Stock
Gaming PC|e8400|HD4890|4GB Ram|4.25TB storage
booksacool1 is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 07:13 AM   #20
CaTOAGU
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Manchester, UK
I'm really not sure I see the problem here. It's not like the operators are helpless children. The only reason Apple manages to negotiate such favourable terms is because the iPhone is so popular. If it was less popular the operators would have a stronger negotiating position.

It's also these operators that, back in the day, would introduce restrictions of their own on handsets. Turning off features they didn't like and installing their own bloatware on top of or instead of the manufactures own O/S.

As far as I'm concerned the operators should be as close to dumb pipes as possible. Of course they have to do compatibility testing to make sure handsets don't cripple their network but that should be as far as they go.

What's happening with Apple is just a redressing of the balance of power away from the operators, they don't like it, I don't blame them but it's how it should be in my opinion.
CaTOAGU is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 07:19 AM   #21
IGregory
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by macs4nw View Post
It seems not a day goes by that APPLE isn't under the microscope somewhere.
An excellent incentive to run the company squeaky-clean. What other company could stand this kind of intense scrutiny? Go
Right or wrong Apple does stifle competition with its patent and licensing enforcement. When one is perceived as a bully one makes him/itself a target. That's the downside of being at the top of the heap. Arrows generally are aim upward.
__________________
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” ~ Confucius
IGregory is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 07:51 AM   #22
jagolden
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
EU - shorthand for anti-business, socialist gangsters. Pathetic.
jagolden is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 07:52 AM   #23
Bubba Satori
macrumors 68040
 
Bubba Satori's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: B'ham
Apple should just buy the EU.
Bubba Satori is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 07:55 AM   #24
NoNothing
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Send a message via AIM to NoNothing
Quote:
Originally Posted by thacube View Post
why wouldn't apple want the iphone 5 on high speed 4g in europe?
As reported on The Verge, Apple won't allow the iPhone to connect to a 4G network until after Apple has tested the phone on the carriers specific network. My guess this complaint is being filed by a carrier that does not offer the iphone, is loosing customers to competitors and like the terms offered by Apple.
NoNothing is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 27, 2013, 07:57 AM   #25
sofila
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Apple has nothing to worry about

as long as is clean and clear
sofila is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > iOS Blog Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Italian Regulators Investigating Apple and Others Over 'Freemium' App Pricing Model MacRumors iOS Blog Discussion 74 May 25, 2014 12:23 AM
Apple Fined by Taiwanese Regulators Over iPhone Price Fixing MacRumors iOS Blog Discussion 29 Dec 29, 2013 11:24 AM
Japanese Mobile Carriers to Offer iPhone 5s Free On Contract Through Special Promotions MacRumors iOS Blog Discussion 16 Sep 17, 2013 11:08 AM
Apple Fined Another $260,000 By Italian Regulators Over AppleCare Practices MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 140 Dec 29, 2012 11:52 AM
Price question: What if I switch carriers before my contract is up? bollweevil iPhone 4 Sep 12, 2012 10:59 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:36 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC