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Dutch iPhone carrier challenging Apple's exclusive European contracts

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
National Dutch phone carrier KPN has reportedly decided that Apple's exclusive iPhone contract with Mobistar in Belgium is illegal, and has begun offering the iPhone in Belgium through its Base subsidiary.

KPN is Apple's exclusive carrier in the Netherlands, but has been unable to negotiate a contract to sell the iPhone in neighboring Belgium (where it operates Base as that country's third largest carrier) because of Apple's exclusive deal with Mobistar.

Mobistar (not to be confused with the Spanish carrier Movistar) has been Apple's exclusive partner in Belgium since it began offering the iPhone 3G in July 2008, being among the 22 countries involved in Apple's global launch program.

KPN's Base "pretends now that it is still able to sell dutch iPhones in Belgium due to the fact that there are no borders any more between the different European countries," Guy Hans in Belgium notes.

"BASE pretends that the exclusive contract that Apple signed are illegal and in contradiction with common European laws," Hans said. "Since its mother company obtained the exclusive rights for the iPhone sales in the Netherlands, BASE estimates that it is allowed to import iPhones from the Netherlands into Belgium.

"Up to now, Apple has declined to comment on this development, which could change their contracts throughout the European continent."

Starting in 2007, Vodafone challenged Apple's exclusive carrier partnership in Germany. Similar conflicts arose in France shortly afterward, and have continued throughout Europe since.

Apple has since expanded its carrier support from its initial exclusive contracts in a number of countries, including allowing Vodafone to sell the iPhone without exclusivity in Australia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, and Turkey.

A variety of countries now have a choice in iPhone carriers, with a notable exception being the US, where it remains tied to AT&T. That is expected to change early this year as Verizon gains access to a version of iPhone 4 that is compatible with its network. Other US carriers are not expected to be able to sell either the new CDMA or the existing UMTS version however.
post #2 of 40
I think they might be right.
They should be able to sell them anywhere in the EU, but Apple doesn't have to support them or furnish them.
Interesting tactic.
post #3 of 40
Quote:
KPN is Apple's exclusive carrier in the Netherlands

That is incorrect. T-Mobile used to be the exclusive provider in the Netherlands. Now all major operators sell the iPhone.

Cheers
Nick
post #4 of 40
Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.
post #5 of 40
This is, of course, the same KPN that called the iPhone useless just a few years ago and yet even then in the same breath saying "please, let us sell it"...
post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.

Best part about mobile phones in Europe is that when you travel, you pop your SIM card out and pop in a local, pay-as-you-go SIM card. That's how it was when I lived there a few years ago.

Always thought we were getting screwed by wireless carriers in North America...and still do.
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post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.

Great point. Sure they do charge as an international call calls between 2 EU countries. But when it comes to selling iPhones, they want the EU to be one market.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.

Of course they do. Live in Finland with a Finnish sim and travel to Sweden, you pay roaming charges. This is pretty easy to understand. However if the iPhone or any phone for that matter is unlocked all you do is pop out your home country sim and pop in a local sim from the country you are in. I do this all the time with both my iPhone4 and iPad.
post #9 of 40
Not to start trouble. But you have an iPhone 4 and iPad.......why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

I do this all the time with both my iPhone4 and iPad.
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.

Don't US carriers charge roaming fees from state to state? I had a friend who visited the States, borrowed an American friend's phone, visited another state or two and found themselves faced with some 500 dollars in call charges.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

National Dutch phone carrier KPN has reportedly decided that Apple's exclusive iPhone contract with Mobistar in Belgium is illegal

You know, 'Mobistar' IS uncomfortably close to 'Mobster'.
Hey, just sayin'.
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Not to start trouble. But you have an iPhone 4 and iPad.......why?

Oh, I can answer that. Because one has a small screen for when I need something with a small screen, and the other one has a big screen for when I need something with a big screen. :-)
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

Don't US carriers charge roaming fees from state to state? I had a friend who visited the States, borrowed an American friend's phone, visited another state or two and found themselves faced with some 500 dollars in call charges.

At least for the nationwide carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint) you will be able to talk from anywhere in the US to anywhere else with no roaming charges. If your carrier does not have a signal at all, then you could be charged to roam but this is not very common.
post #14 of 40
Guess KPN hasn't had any dealings with Apples legal department. Good luck to then, they'll need it.
post #15 of 40
Almost 3 years after introducing the iPhone onto their network, Mobistar is STILL NOT providing the Visual Voicemail feature.

As can be read on their FAQ (http://iphone3g.mobistar.be/en/faq.cfm#):
Quote:
We are still investigating the feasibility and planning the rollout of this system.

I thought this was a simple feature that Apple provided to their partner carrier???

For this shame alone, Apple should cut its ties with Mobistar!
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Not to start trouble. But you have an iPhone 4 and iPad.......why?

I can't imagine any other reason to ask a question like that except to start trouble. There are obvious advantages to both devices. C'mon, let's not abuse this forum to revisit old arguments.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Oh, I can answer that. Because one has a small screen for when I need something with a small screen, and the other one has a big screen for when I need something with a big screen. :-)

Ding, ding, ding..... We have a winner..... I also have an 11 inch MBA that I swap places with the iPad on occasions.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelveticaNeue View Post

I can't imagine any other reason to ask a question like that except to start trouble. There are obvious advantages to both devices. C'mon, let's not abuse this forum to revisit old arguments.

I could have answered him that I make quite a bit of money and usually buy what I want but I didn't.....
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

National Dutch phone carrier KPN has reportedly decided that Apple's exclusive iPhone contract with Mobistar in Belgium is illegal, and has begun offering the iPhone in Belgium through its Base subsidiary.

In other news, Deutsche Telekom has reportedly decided that Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T in the US is illegal and will begin offering the iPhone thorugh its T-Mobile subsidiary.
post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianloftus View Post

At least for the nationwide carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint) you will be able to talk from anywhere in the US to anywhere else with no roaming charges. If your carrier does not have a signal at all, then you could be charged to roam but this is not very common.

That's what I thought. So if there are European carriers that cross borders, why should they have extra roaming charges.

My daughter works at a call centre for a bank and she had a customer that took his iPhone to France. Didn't turn off data roaming and got back to a $7500 bill for roaming charges!
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

In other news, Deutsche Telekom has reportedly decided that Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T in the US is illegal and will begin offering the iPhone thorugh its T-Mobile subsidiary.

Where is the like button when I need it
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

In other news, Deutsche Telekom has reportedly decided that Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T in the US is illegal and will begin offering the iPhone thorugh its T-Mobile subsidiary.

Excellent, Smithers!

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post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.

Yes they can, the EU allows them to operate this way.
post #24 of 40
I'm not talking about the screen sizes.

I'm talking about our past discussions. You've been extremely adamant and critical of the iPhone and iOS. I'm genuinely curious as to what has changed that has inspired you to use both the iPhone and the iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Ding, ding, ding..... We have a winner..... I also have an 11 inch MBA that I swap places with the iPad on occasions.
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMan View Post

This is, of course, the same KPN that called the iPhone useless just a few years ago and yet even then in the same breath saying "please, let us sell it"...

Exactly. Given that, even if you are right, how smart is it to offend Apple just as you have started distributing the iPhone after having grinded your teeth for three years while T-Mobile was the exclusive carrier in The Netherlands? This is really good for relation-building with Apple.

KPN has the best network (together with Vodafone) but they do not register high on the smart-meter with respect to iPhone so far.
post #26 of 40
Well, KPN never enjoyed exclusivity with the iPhone in the Netherlands; it was T-Mobile. However, since exclusivity ended, KPN and Vodafone are also offering iPhones.
What I noticed is all of a sudden everyone in my vicinity is sporting an iPhone right now; wouldn't be surprised it it were to become the no. 1 handset in Holland.
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by docyoast View Post

Well, KPN never enjoyed exclusivity with the iPhone in the Netherlands; it was T-Mobile. However, since exclusivity ended, KPN and Vodafone are also offering iPhones.
What I noticed is all of a sudden everyone in my vicinity is sporting an iPhone right now; wouldn't be surprised it it were to become the no. 1 handset in Holland.

If it become the no.1 handset in Holland, what would be the no.1 handset in the rest of the Netherlands?
post #28 of 40
Let it be known that Mobistar's contract with Apple in Belgium only involves selling the iPhone.
It is unlocked and can be used anywhere.

They are NOT an exclusive provider, although they offer a (a wee bit expensive) plan taylored to the iPhone.

You don't have to change carriers and in fact what I do with my prepaid Base (Belgian subsidiary of KPN) SIM is to add a data plan 500MB/1mo whenever I expect to be out-of-WiFi-range.

True, the main point of the article is not invalidated by the above remark (it is about Belgian iPhone SALES), but some of the comments are.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by andriesse View Post

That is incorrect. T-Mobile used to be the exclusive provider in the Netherlands. Now all major operators sell the iPhone.

Cheers
Nick

Three to be exact: T-Mobile started in 2008, and then in 2010 Apple added KPN and Vodafone as their carriers.
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post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stourque View Post

Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.

Yes they do. And can, since they register their business in that country, with local VAT registration etcetera. Proceedings go the the holding, in this case KPN in Holland.
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post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMan View Post

This is, of course, the same KPN that called the iPhone useless just a few years ago and yet even then in the same breath saying "please, let us sell it"...

Yep, that was the response from KPN's ceo Ad Scheepbouwer after using the iPhone for a day. It is possible that he was very impressed but couldn't get a deal with Apple back then. The only way to talk yourself out of that situation is probably to make derogatory remarks...
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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrik View Post

Great point. Sure they do charge as an international call calls between 2 EU countries. But when it comes to selling iPhones, they want the EU to be one market.

Exactly! And that makes KPN in this case acting like Microploft. Interpreting the law to your advantage.
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post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

Of course they do. Live in Finland with a Finnish sim and travel to Sweden, you pay roaming charges. This is pretty easy to understand. However if the iPhone or any phone for that matter is unlocked all you do is pop out your home country sim and pop in a local sim from the country you are in. I do this all the time with both my iPhone4 and iPad.

Me too. Funny thing is when you buy the iPhone, supposedly locked by carrier, I simply pop in a sim card from a different provider and the phone turns out to be unlocked. Go figure...

It's still a shame there is no way to buy a single sim card for internet use throughout Europe and pay local fees for the country you are in. Swapping these sim cards (micro's) in and out becomes a bit of a hassle. One way to avoid that is to simply don't bother and pay roaming fees. T-Mobile charges 2.00 per MByte. KPN 2.95 per Mbyte. Vodafone is more complicated, pdf in Dutch if you like:
http://www.vodafone.nl/Vodafone/wg30...b_sept2010.pdf
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post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not talking about the screen sizes.

I'm talking about our past discussions. You've been extremely adamant and critical of the iPhone and iOS. I'm genuinely curious as to what has changed that has inspired you to use both the iPhone and the iPad.

You didn't say that...

I am still critical of iOS but I see it filling more and more of my needs. Dear God in Heaven I wish we could have widgets like the HTC Desire or something like Lock Screen Info which you can get if you JB your phone. More and more I am seeing your average Finns moving in favor of iOS for its ease of use and the way it simply blends into their lives. This is the part that Nokia is missing. Nokia can still beat iOS in several things but the over battle goes to iOS because of the ecosystem that goes along with it.
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordeagle View Post

Almost 3 years after introducing the iPhone onto their network, Mobistar is STILL NOT providing the Visual Voicemail feature.

As can be read on their FAQ (http://iphone3g.mobistar.be/en/faq.cfm#):


I thought this was a simple feature that Apple provided to their partner carrier???

For this shame alone, Apple should cut its ties with Mobistar!

A true shame! To me, Visual Voicemail is _THE_ best invention in the phone business. I switched from T-Mobile which has VV to KPN because of their faster 3G internet speed (7.2 vs 2.0 Mbit) but lost VV as a result. KPN voicemail: "press 1 for..., press 2 for..." That is so 1988 I turned of voicemail altogether. Which people actually like...
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post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

Exactly. Given that, even if you are right, how smart is it to offend Apple just as you have started distributing the iPhone after having grinded your teeth for three years while T-Mobile was the exclusive carrier in The Netherlands? This is really good for relation-building with Apple.

KPN has the best network (together with Vodafone) but they do not register high on the smart-meter with respect to iPhone so far.

Very true. KPN is very similar to Microploft. Both do not innovate and are Competition Copiers. KPN shares are a laugh, stuck around 11 for years.
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post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

If it become the no.1 handset in Holland, what would be the no.1 handset in the rest of the Netherlands?

It's the same country, just a different name
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post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

It's the same country, just a different name

Technically no, and since you claim your are from The Netherlands you would know this, do people from Zeeland or Friesland like to generalised and said they are from Holland? It would like referring to all of the USA as "New York", or all of the UK as England.
post #39 of 40
I only asked why do you have an iPhone and iPad. The rest is just assumption.

What is happening is what several of us have been telling you for a long time. That Apple has been building the foundation of iOS and adding features as they become fully developed.

Its the same with widgets. Widgets are a good idea. But the widget system in Android is mediocre at best. I'm not sure how much use I would make of them if I owned an Android phone. I'd wager that if/when Apple implements widgets in iOS it'll be a far better system.

Nokia has absolutely no coherent plan for dealing with iOS or Android. Currently they are skating by on selling the largest number of cheap phones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

You didn't say that...

I am still critical of iOS but I see it filling more and more of my needs. Dear God in Heaven I wish we could have widgets like the HTC Desire or something like Lock Screen Info which you can get if you JB your phone. More and more I am seeing your average Finns moving in favor of iOS for its ease of use and the way it simply blends into their lives. This is the part that Nokia is missing. Nokia can still beat iOS in several things but the over battle goes to iOS because of the ecosystem that goes along with it.
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Technically no, and since you claim your are from The Netherlands you would know this, do people from Zeeland or Friesland like to generalised and said they are from Holland? It would like referring to all of the USA as "New York", or all of the UK as England.

Well, you got me there! True, the Netherlands is divided into provinces, among which are the North & South Holland. So yes, you are right that people from Zeeland and Friesland are not from Holland (but from The Netherlands).

Back to your original question: "If it become the no.1 handset in Holland, what would be the no.1 handset in the rest of the Netherlands?" I'd say there actually could be a difference in the #1 handset throughout The Netherlands since these two 'North & South Holland provinces' do include 3 of the 4 biggest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam & The Hague, excluding Utrecht). However, the country is only 2,000 square miles so chances of having a different #1 smartphone in the 'rest of the country' seems unlikely to me. But where would one find these geographical numbers?

Still, very perceptive of you!
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