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Apple brings unlocked, contract-free iPhone to Germany

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
As T-Mobile loses its iPhone exclusivity in Germany to O2 and Vodafone, Apple has begun offering the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 unlocked without a contract to German customers, with the 16GB iPhone 4 model selling for 629 euros.

Wireless carriers O2 and Vodafone began carrying the iPhone in Germany Wednesday after several years of T-Mobile exclusivity in the country, though T-Mobile will continue to sell the iPhone. The carriers offer a variety of contracts and plans, some with subsidized iPhone prices as low as 1 euro.

Apple's Online Store (Google Translation) in Germany has been updated to carry the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 unlocked and contract-free, advertising that it will "work with the wireless carrier of your choice." The company reminds users on its website that the iPhone only works with GSM networks and the iPhone 4 will require a micro-SIM card.

Customers can also puchased the iPhone from one of Apple's four German retail stores, reports German Mac site Macerkopf.de. The 8GB iPhone 3GS is available for 519 ($715) euros, while the iPhone 4 16GB and 32GB models cost 629 euros ($866) and 739 euros ($1017) respectively.



Germany going multi-carrier with the iPhone is yet another step in Apple's slow-and-steady carrier strategy. In January of this year, Apple officials revealed that they will go with multiple carriers where they believe it is appropriate, but denied that it was inevitable in every market.

"I don't want to imply that would happen in every market or that we are headed that way in every market," said Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.

The vision of an unlocked iPhone future came more into focus Wednesday with the rumor that Apple may be working together with chip manufacturer Gemalto to develop a programmable SIM that can be activated without having to call or visit a carrier. With the rumored technology, iPhone users could travel to other regions and countries and obtain service without the need for a unique SIM from each different location.

The next big blow to iPhone carrier monopolies could come in the form of the long-rumored CDMA iPhone. Though rumors of a CDMA-capable iPhone have persisted for years, multiple media outlets (1, 2, 3) now report the handset as ready to begin production this fall. A CDMA iPhone would work on a number of networks around the world, including Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and China Telecom.
post #2 of 23
"I don't want to imply that would happen in every market or that we are headed that way in every market," said Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.

Of course not EVERY market....... but the US seems like a sure thing and soon now. Just hope they can keep up with demand.
post #3 of 23
A CDMA iPhone would only work on a very little number of networks worldwide, but China and Verizon and Sprint all use different versions of CDMA so there wouldn't be any need for it outside the US (A Verizon iPhone wouldn't work in China and vice-versatile) This is the downfall of CDMA and where GSM really works because it has a standard, and the SIM and roaming system is great.

Germany residents will not care that the iPhone is GSM, as 99.9% of networks in Europe are GSM, and 80% in the world are GSM.
post #4 of 23
Switzerland had two iPhone carriers from the beginning, and now their third and last carrier has the iPhone 4 since August. You can get it for CHF1- with a two year contract.
post #5 of 23
In Austria, it still appears the iPhone to be tied to Orange or T-Mobile. T-Mobile includes tethering in it's contracts not sure about Orange though.
post #6 of 23
Yeah, finally. One thin what I have been anticipating for 3 Months. My colleague bought UK import 4 weeks ago. He is now because of the more than 100 EUR difference.

I bought it yesterday on Wednesday in Apple store. The guys who sold me seemed to be also happy that the can sell it without a contract

Moreover, O2 had really problems with it - more people than they have anticipated were activating Micro-Sim cards (like me). Site for SIM activation was unavailable (though lately they do those "upgrades" in the system often), waiting times to reach any "Berater" through a call was also about 30 minutes. But most likely they just saved on the infrastructure/workers (without this anticipation BS).

Now with the phone without monthly payments, and with the contract where I pay 0,00 EUR if I do not make call when not in Germany and max 40 EUR if I do, and 0,15 Cent per Minute ->

EDIT: Have just checked - O2 still has problems with their site. You can't reach your profile. "Aufgrund der hohen Nachfrage kann es zu Verzögerungen kommen. "
Die sind so bilig. Na ja, ich weiss wofuer ich zahle. Besser so, als viel zu Telekom zahlen, und gleich schlechte Kundenbetreuung haben.
post #7 of 23
In turkey both Vodafone and Turkcell gives unlocked without a contract option, since the very first iphone.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilping View Post

In turkey both Vodafone and Turkcell gives unlocked without a contract option, since the very first iphone.

Strange that in Germany there was no Turkey Import (only UK and Italian)
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therbo View Post

A CDMA iPhone would only work on a very little number of networks worldwide, but China and Verizon and Sprint all use different versions of CDMA so there wouldn't be any need for it outside the US (A Verizon iPhone wouldn't work in China and vice-versatile) This is the downfall of CDMA and where GSM really works because it has a standard, and the SIM and roaming system is great.

Why wouldnt a Verizon CDMA phone work on a China Telecom CDMA network? What exactly are you claiming is incompatible?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post

Strange that in Germany there was no Turkey Import (only UK and Italian)

Not really.

Italy, UK = EU => no customs
Turkey != EU => customs
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman. View Post

Strange that in Germany there was no Turkey Import (only UK and Italian)

Probably depends on who you know or who you ask in Germany.

Mesut Ozil, or perhaps Sammy Khedira will know more about that :-)
post #12 of 23
If you buy subsidized - you pay a crapload in contract fees.
If you buy unlocked - you pay a crapload in phone prices.

I guess I'm gonna keep my Razr-Touch combination for a few more years.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #13 of 23
$866 and $1017, wow. We can buy them unlocked from Apple Canada for $659 and $779. If you can afford the upfront costs, they are pretty good prices when you take into account the 5 carriers up here that support it will lock you into a 3 year contract if you buy it subsidized. But it unlocked and you can shop around for the best plan from any of the carriers. The funny thing is that the carriers will also sell you contract free, but still locked iPhones for $30 less than the unlocked one. I really wonder who would do that, when it means they can only use it on that one carrier, so they are locked in anyway.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post

Probably depends on who you know or who you ask in Germany.

Mesut Ozil, or perhaps Sammy Khedira will know more about that :-)

Wow! Respect... a "football-fan" or a German... or both?
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #15 of 23

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


Seems that You are not at risk to slide into a superficial anti-americanism because yours isn't superficial.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

$866 and $1017, wow. We can buy them unlocked from Apple Canada for $659 and $779.

Yeah, it seems expensive. In Norway ("proud" of being The Most Expensive Country In The World), an unlocked iPhone 4 cost 596 (16 GB) or 706 (32 GB) after 25% VAT is added. Still way more than in Canada, but at least cheaper than in Germany.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jervi View Post

Yeah, it seems expensive. In Norway ("proud" of being The Most Expensive Country In The World), an unlocked iPhone 4 cost 596 (16 GB) or 706 (32 GB) after 25% VAT is added. Still way more than in Canada, but at least cheaper than in Germany.

Well, we still have to add sales tax after the retail price, which is between 7% and 15%, depending on the province of purchase. So $745-$880 in Ontario, after tax. Still better than Germany too

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #19 of 23
in spain its 599 euro for the 16 GB and 699 euro for the 32 GB after adding 18% VAT ;d
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therbo View Post

A CDMA iPhone would only work on a very little number of networks worldwide, but China and Verizon and Sprint all use different versions of CDMA so there wouldn't be any need for it outside the US (A Verizon iPhone wouldn't work in China and vice-versatile) This is the downfall of CDMA and where GSM really works because it has a standard, and the SIM and roaming system is great.

Germany residents will not care that the iPhone is GSM, as 99.9% of networks in Europe are GSM, and 80% in the world are GSM.

Thank You!!!! Very well said as this is true for Most of the world, CDMA is limited and a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the world.."It's about working well together" as GSM does A+ "plays well with others"
post #21 of 23
This is ABSOLUTELY why the US will NEVER catch up with the rest of the world from a technology point of view in the smart phone space.... The way carriers control which phones go on what networks is COMPLETE CRAP... IF I must, I'll get one of these from Germany and hook it up to what ever network I want to here in the US... SCREW these carrier clowns..
post #22 of 23

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandG View Post

Not really.

Italy, UK = EU => no customs
Turkey != EU => customs

I am too European - have forgotten about this. Thanks for reminding.
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