Vodafone Gets Restraining Order On T-Mobile's iPhone Sales

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ogee, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. ogee macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2006
    DUESSELDORF -(Dow Jones)- The German unit of Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) has obtained a restraining order against Deutsche Telekom AG's (DT) T-Mobile unit prohibiting the German telecommunications giant from selling Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone in Germany.

    The restraining order was issued by a regional court in Hamburg Monday, a Vodafone Deutschland spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires.

    Vodafone is questioning Deutsche Telekom's iPhone sales practices, the spokesman said. Deutsche Telekom is marketing the iPhone exclusively in Germany.

    Specifically, Vodafone is questioning the iPhone's exclusive use in T-Mobile's network and the use of the device being limited to certain fees within T- Mobile's subscription offerings.

    More ...

    And in related news

    Court orders Telekom to sell iPhone without subscription
    Dusseldorf, Germany (dpa) - Vodafone said Monday it had won a court order requiring its rival, Deutsche Telekom, to sell the Apple iPhone in Germany without a mandatory calling plan.

    The stylish touchscreen phone-cum-music-player went on sale this month in Germany with Telekom as exclusive vendor. The telco requires buyers to sign up to a two-year contract with its T-Mobile wireless network.

    Telekom confirmed it had received a temporary injunction.

    More ...
  2. aerospace macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    nobody (as far as i know) in the us had to sign a contract to buy one, you sign up at home via itunes. no big deal.
  3. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    Sounds to me like a step in the right direction, and good news for the consumer. I'm not a fan of restrictive practises myself.
  4. ogee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2006
    In Germany yes you have to sign when you buy. No Apple online store purchase, only at T-Mobile stores.

    The problem is that its locked to a network and stupid rates. Like the 50 Euro "unlimited" internet is limited to 200Mb. Its not possible for an existing customer to walk into a T-Mobile shop, buy an iPhone and just leave then use it on their existing plan. Nor for a Vodafone (or other companies) customer to buy one and use it on that network. This unknown in the German marketplace and is monopolistic.

    This is one I hope Vodafone wins to set a presidence for unlocking the iPhone

    EDIT: It should be noted that Vodafone also has exclusive phones like the Samsung Qbowl, but its not sim locked.
  5. superleccy macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2004
    That there big London
    My guess is that Vodafone turned down the iPhone in Germany and other markets because it didn't like (or couldn't afford) Apple's terms.

    T-mobile now have to comply (and pay the price for) with those terms, and thus trying to claw-back the cost of those terms by restricting customers more that they normally would. But this seems to be against Germany's anti-competition laws.

    So Vodafone is quite right to have a go. Maybe if Vodafone had intended to flout those same laws, it might have decided that going with the iPhone was a good business case.

    And it can't be bad for the consumer. Let's hope that this is just the start.

  6. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006
    Apple is really getting into a big mess if they want to control a parcentage of the monthly bills generated by iphone customers all over the world.

    I, for one, won't buy an iPhone because in Spain it will be exclusive with Movistar (Telefonica owns both Movistar and O2 in the UK). I've been on Vodafone for many years and don't miss a bit my time spent using Movistar.

    It's quite easy actually: i'm pretty sure they'd sell a lot more iphones if it was an unlock product .. like all the phones Nokia or SonyEricsson sell.
  7. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    I'm just surprised dtag thought they could get away with it.. they don't mess about with their laws in germany. (Unlike in the UK where it'll probably be about a year before the regulator gets around to doing anything)
  8. heaven macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    ORF.AT is also reporting that Vodafone is against T-Mobile exclusivity.
  9. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    Actually, by signing up in the US using iTunes (the only way to do it in the US) you are committed to a 2 year contract with AT&T.
  10. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
    This whole profit sharing approach will never come to fruition for Apple. People underestimated it, but the number of unlockers will continue to grow and they will not see a dime in kickback from them.

    They could have sold it unlocked at a higher MSRP and made out like bandits. People overseas dont like long contracts and domestically users dont want to pay these crazy termination fees so they are leaving money on the table.

    The desire to have complete control may work in computers, but I am not sure the same approach can be applied successfully in the cell market. Owners are constantly looking to customize and make their phone new again. It's a great device that was hyped so much that many aren't going to wait for Apple to rape another telecom, they'll just get an unlocked one and use it right away.
  11. c-Row macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Isn't that the same Vodafone who tried to competed for the exclusive marketing rights before they pulled out and left it to T-Mobile? I wonder if they would mind at all if they had the iPhone now... :p
  12. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Sorry, but I disagree. I think people customize their computers more than they do their phones.

    The hackers are a very small minority. They make a lot of sound, but they don't really have much bite.

    The "Look at me, I hacked my iPhone and I am BIG, now listen to me" talk is getting old.

    Anyway, I support Vodafone in this. Maybe this will set off a chain of events that will lead Apple to diversify providers more.

    And most of all... allow me to use an iPhone without a voice plan! (Data-only for the win).

    (And to save me some energy "correcting" some asshat... I am deaf, so voice is useless, and I'd rather pay $40/month for data-only instead of paying $60/month, of which 2/3 of the cost goes towards voice)
  13. Yuppi macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2007
    Vodafone is a bad loser. No one cares about their exclusive phone. And I sure know why they don't want the manufacturer of a handset to be in a better position. They want to have their themes on every damn phone.
    But in this case they actually help the customer.
  14. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    My old Nokia 6310 was locked to Orange UK, so clearly Nokia do sell some locked 'phones.
  15. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    This may sound a little warped but locking a phone (that everybody wants) to a network could actually make the other networks that missed out/passed on up their game to offer a better network.

    Rival phone manufacturers not wanting to be out done will start making better phones. Its good for the consumer (in a way). :)

    EDIT: And I have just remembered I switched from TMobile having been with them from the start because the phone I wanted was only available on Vodafone. Worst mistake ever! Phone was/is **** and the network seems all over the place. I will be getting iPhone soon.
  16. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Nokia don't... Orange locked it. You could have phoned Orange and got the unlock code after you'd paid off the subsidy (normally defined as when the contract ended).

    All providers work this way.. it's why you get a free phone on contract.

    Or you could have gone into any high street phone dealer (or any one of a dozen websites) and had them unlock it for you, but of course you'd still be bound to the contract anyway. Quite common practice to upgrade a phone is to buy a payT phone, pay £10 for the unlock and stick your old SIM in it.

    iphone is different - You paid for it already, but O2 will never unlock it even after the end of the contract (they say in the contract they won't) and even if they did apple won't let you use it because they've added an extra activation stage. This is clearly the wrong side of the current legislation.. but it's going to take a while before the regulator gets off their arse and does something. Well done for the germans for being the first to challenge this.
  17. EagerDragon macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2006
    MA, USA
    Sounds like double standards and sour grapes.

    Apple will get more publicity out of this, there maybe a lull in sales and people are going to want the phone even more. Xmas is almost here, people will kill for the phone.

    It is unthinkable that Apple did not look into the German laws, however laws can be used creatively and you can twist them.

    I expect this will be thrown out soon, and customers will rush to buy the phone in case there is a new injunction later.
  18. iPie macrumors regular


    Feb 21, 2006
    Milan, Italy
    Rapacious Vultures

    I have found that all mobile telecom providers are rapacious vultures.

    If they can take advantage of consumers and their customers they will (look at the anti-trust case in France - and I am sure that France is not an isolated case).

    The only time consumers have actually benefited has been when the regulators have stepped in to control collusion like practices (like the 5 euro "service fee" to charge your cell phone in Italy:mad:).

    I am just happy that for once they are going after each other, and the iPhone.

    I just can't believe how iPhone users can be fond of monopolies and vilify them in the same breath when speaking of Microsoft.

    I love my macs, but iPhone... ...I am not so fond of this particular kind of market penetration.
  19. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England

    I think they just might be able to afford it. What they won't like is giving Apple a big slice of the pie, and rightly so.
  20. christian_k macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2005
    Taken very serious in Germany

    A few notes on this from me, living in Germany:

    - This incident is taken very serious by the media. It was reported in the news on major radio and tv stations in Germany.
    - Vodafone said, the incunction _does_ give them the power to halt iPhone sales be T-mobile - But they had decided not to do so at the moment.
    - T-Mobile now has two weeks to react on the injunction. If they do - what is very likely - there will be a court hearing withing a very short time and a court decision within about four weeks (accelerated court procedure). Hearings at higher courts may follow, of course.
    - No information yet about the reasons for the injunction or what
    paragraphs of German (or European) law might be violated.
    - No comments from T-Mobile, yet.

  21. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Well, technically speaking Nokia supplied Orange with a 6310 with a custom, locked firmware on it and then Orange supplied it to me under contract, yes. Perhaps I should have said Nokia supply locked 'phones to network operators. :rolleyes:
  22. cal6n macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2004
    Gloucester, UK
  23. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006

    I am very against being locked into a network. There are no locked cellphones in South Africa and it's so nice to just put in any other GSM carrier's sim card into the phone when you travel overseas:)
  24. Phutchi macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2007
    :confused: I'm all for lower prices, shorter contracts, no cancellation fees, but I just don't get all the fuss over the iPhone being exclusive to a certain carrier.
  25. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK

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