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Apple selects O2 as exclusive carrier for iPhone in UK - Page 5

post #161 of 165
I have a feeling that Apple and O2 will soon run into trouble over their lock-in policy, and then some. As far as I know, it has been Ofcom's (Oftel's) view that SIM locking is indeed a barrier to consumers' choice and its removal would benefit competition. Locking could be justified for a limited period of time, normally the duration of the first contract, .i.e. 12 months (there were no 18-month contracts back then), however, and this is crucial, that view was rather explicitly based on the assumption of a phone subsidy that had to be recovered. Moreover, it would appear that even this position was withdrawn as far back as 2001. Obviously, with the iPhone there is NO subsidy, hence any justification of a lock-in looks shaky.

It gets better. Ofcom's position is closely linked with that of the European Commission, which issued the following guidance in 1996:
1. end-users should be made aware at the time of purchase whether their handsets are locked;
2. network operators/service providers should tell end-users that unlocking is possible, or provide upon request the information necessary to unlock;
3. the existence and amount of the handset subsidy (and any conditions for repaying monies due under the contract) should be made clear to customers at the time of purchase; and
4. handsets need not be unlocked until the subsidy has been repaid.

But, again, there is NO subsidy in the case of the iPhone.

So far Ofcom chose to refrain from a heavy-handed legislation approach, instead preferring to issue guidelines and outline its views that the operators could follow. Who knows how long they're going to stick with it. Plus, there has been a precedent when 3 (operator) was forced to change contract terms that were deemed unfair, and, as far as I can remember, one of the terms reviewed concerned unlocking. I'm not a lawyer, but it looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
post #162 of 165
I said something similar to this and got shouted down. I completely agree - I can't see this policy of Apple's passing British, let alone EU, scrutiny. At the evry least I would expect a user to be able to use the iPhone handset with any carrier at the end of the contract.
post #163 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by real_void View Post

Obviously, with the iPhone there is NO subsidy, hence any justification of a lock-in looks shaky.

As far as I can tell, the phone subsidy is in the iPhone, it's just done differently than before, so it's not as recognizable. We can say that the phone is not subsidized, but I really don't think that statement tells the story at all.
post #164 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

That's the new N95 8GB. That ad was for the older model that did not have wifi.

The older N95 has WiFi too. It just wasn't advertised in that advert.

btw. According to The Guardian, O2's 'unlimited' data plan is actually 200MB a month and the 'unlimited' Cloud Wifi access is 60 hours a month.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ysection.apple
post #165 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

As far as I can tell, the phone subsidy is in the iPhone, it's just done differently than before, so it's not as recognizable. We can say that the phone is not subsidized, but I really don't think that statement tells the story at all.

This sounds a little nonsensical, but even if it were true, then that is exactly what the third paragraph of the EU guidance that I quoted guards against.
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