T-Mobile Germany ordered to allow iPhone use on rival carriers

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A court order handed down Monday against Deutsche Telekom mobile arm T-Mobile demands that iPhone be sold in Germany unlocked and without a two-year contract, the Wall Street Journal clarifies.



The German carrier has been given to the close of business on Wednesday to alter its marketing (subscription required) of the Apple handset to reflect the Court's demands. The change in conditions will reportedly be valid until another hearing before a Hamburg court, which is expected in two weeks.



For its part, however, T-Mobile is standing firm, claiming that its marketing model for the iPhone is correct. In a statement Tuesday, it said that sales of the Apple handset are continuing and that it reserves the right to claim damages from Vodafone.



As was reported yesterday, T-Mobile rival Vodafone Deutschland filed for the motion because it wants the German court to review T-Mobile's exclusive marketing rights to the iPhone in Germany, which it believes are in breach of local German laws.



"We're not taking any plans to replicate these actions anywhere else, or in the U.K.," a Vodafone spokesman told the Journal. "It's a different regulatory environment."



Specifically, Vodafone is objecting to the iPhone being restricted for use only on T-Mobile networks and also questions T-Mobile's fare packages for the iPhone, which are limited to just three.



Vodafone Deutschland chief executive Friedrich Joussen was quoted on Monday as saying his firm's goal was not to prevent sales of the device but rather to allow for consumers to purchase iPhones without restrictions.



"We want the iPhone to be available to everyone without being tied to a contract," he said.



Although mobile carriers have historically declined to share service revenues with handset makers, the allure of iPhone has allowed Apple to successfully do just that with AT&T Inc. in the U.S., Telefonica's O2 in the U.K. and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile in Germany -- garnering what is believed to be an approximate 10 percent share of service revenues in each case.



The Journal notes that Apple tried to secure a similar exclusive deal in France with France Telecom SA's mobile operator Orange, but due to French consumer law other telecommunications companies have been selling the iPhone, offering contracts with rival operators Bouygues Telecom, the telecom division of Bouygues SA, and Virgin Mobile.



In its statement Tuesday, T-Mobile Deutschland said it will oppose the preliminary injunction filed by Vodafone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    No big deal, just charge $1000 for the unlocked one. How much are they charging for the unlocked one in France?
  • Reply 2 of 71
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Nice to see Apples reprehensible greed being given the short shrift it deserves. Apple shareholders should seriously question Apples marketing strategy in Europe.



    By far the largest segment of the market is pre-paid. Contracts are on the wane. Why on earth does Apple think it can maximise profits by catering to the smallest market segment which is shrinking?
  • Reply 3 of 71
    ajmasajmas Posts: 557member
    Maybe Apple can change its marketing to 'enhanced usage with <name of provider>'.



    The truth is that I would like to see things like visual voice mail be submitted as an extention to GSM. Apple is seeming too much like the negative side of Microsoft, in this case. Apple's attitude in this case may make more European countries bring in laws with regards to exclusivity contracts and cellphones.



    The fact T-Mobile is a subsidary of an ex state telecom company (Deutsche Telecom) is likely to bring more attention to the case.
  • Reply 4 of 71
    irelandireland Posts: 17,623member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    No big deal, just charge $1000 for the unlocked one. How much are they charging for the unlocked one in France?



    Apple needs to take their head out of their ass. The iPod wouldn't have been the success it is with this lack of vision. What's going on in France exactly? If France can get it opened up, did they? Germany may very well too. I hope this is the start of a domino effect.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    It's nice that a company like Vodaphone can use the law to try to harm another company, rather than just try to compete.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Apple needs to take their head out of their ass. The iPod wouldn't have been the success it is with this lack of vision. What's going on in France exactly? If France can get it opened up, did they? Germany may very well too. I hope this is the start of a domino effect.



    Apple is making about $600 profit per phone including the $18/month they get from the carrier - when sales drop they will drop prices, but not before sales start to drop, that would be stupid. Actually, setting the unlocked phone price at $800 or $900 would probably give them the same total margin.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    By far the largest segment of the market is pre-paid.



    Where did you get that from? We're talking abut Germany (and France, the U.K. and the U.S.) Totally bogus statement. How about something (anything) to back that up? There is no "reprehensible greed" here - just idiots like you making up facts to suit an agenda.
  • Reply 8 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Nice to see Apples reprehensible greed being given the short shrift it deserves. Apple shareholders should seriously question Apples marketing strategy in Europe.



    By far the largest segment of the market is pre-paid. Contracts are on the wane. Why on earth does Apple think it can maximise profits by catering to the smallest market segment which is shrinking?



    Don't you think Apple will change when they see all those contracts waning and they start loosing money? Or, maybe, they will bring back contracts in a big way... The iphone is a market changer.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    Apple is making about $600 profit per phone including the $18/month they get from the carrier - when sales drop they will drop prices, but not before sales start to drop, that would be stupid. Actually, setting the unlocked phone price at $800 or $900 would probably give them the same total margin.



    Exactly. Nothing will happen if people keep buying it.
  • Reply 9 of 71
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    It's nice that a company like Vodaphone can use the law to try to harm another company, rather than just try to compete.



    Agreed.



    It's not like people have a 'right' to buy the iPhone at all.



    If I buy an XBOX the only place I can get XBOX live is from MS, so that is the same model.



    I really don't see how you can force a company to 'sell' something if they don't want to.

    If it has to be made availble unlocked then fine, just price it so that nobody will buy it.

    iPhones can still only be sold though Apple or T-Mobile stores, Vodafone will not get the iPhone from Apple to sell themselves.



    There are many handsets released in the UK which are availble on one network only.



    Ian
  • Reply 10 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Why on earth does Apple think it can maximise profits by catering to the smallest market segment which is shrinking?



    Man you really have to start thinking !

    The Mobile- Operators are the ones that think the world belongs to them ,not apple.

    The thing is - without apple interfering , the quality of the service wouldn't be that good.. EVEN if it now IS not good ..it would be even worse . I guess you could imagine , so IMAGINE how MUCH the precious T-Mobile would charge you for nonstop i-net ... video downloads etc.. do you have any idea how much- A FORTUNE .

    So instead of blaming Apple guys , who actually CAN deal with such EGO-firms as every single Mobile Operator worldwide is ...do remember all the times ,when you wanted to be able to change something about the Operators but instead you felt so insignificant part of the universe.

    have fun !

  • Reply 11 of 71
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Nice to see Apples reprehensible greed being given the short shrift it deserves. Apple shareholders should seriously question Apples marketing strategy in Europe.



    By far the largest segment of the market is pre-paid. Contracts are on the wane. Why on earth does Apple think it can maximise profits by catering to the smallest market segment which is shrinking?



    Apple have a responcibility to thier shareholders to make as much money as possible.



    It seesm you are trying to argue that they should not be greedy (i.e. make money) and then on the other hand say the shareholders should question the approach. The shareholders will be very happy with the money Apple are making at the moment.



    They are a business and not a charity here to give the rest of us cheap iPhones.



    If you can't afford an iPhone and it's service plan then don't buy one, simple.
  • Reply 12 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Nice to see Apples reprehensible greed being given the short shrift it deserves. Apple shareholders should seriously question Apples marketing strategy in Europe.



    By far the largest segment of the market is pre-paid. Contracts are on the wane. Why on earth does Apple think it can maximise profits by catering to the smallest market segment which is shrinking?



    An extremely silly statement.



    I'm an Apple shareholder, and have no real problem with Apple making money off of the iPhone.



    What's so bad about apple wanting to control the iPhone experience? What's so bad about them wanting a piece of the revenues from data plans, if it's their device the plans are being bought for?



    The fact that Apple was able to get the deal that they got without having to succumb to T-Mobile's (Or AT&T / O2 / Orange for that matter) branding of the device - something that Vodafone more than likely insisted on during negotiations - makes them a helluva lot smarter than other manufacturers, whose wares are generally neutered by the carriers' insistance of modifying the software and placing their logos everywhere, yet Apple is the bad guy here? Please.



    As I mentioned elsewhere on AI, if the iPhone was deemed a flop in Europe, Vodafone wouldn't have gone to the courts in the first place. They're scared. Period. A german newspaper recently put the number of Vodafone customers who bought iPhones at ca. 5000 so far. That's a lot of lost hardware revenue for Vodafone. This restraining order against T-Mobile makes them look desparate. If this is the only way they can compete, that's pretty sad indeed.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    So will Vodafone be offering Visual Voicemail and unlimited data plans to iPhone users on their network? I'm sure they won't, or if they do, they will charge a huge premium for it.
  • Reply 14 of 71
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tripo View Post


    Man you really have to start thinking !

    The Mobile- Operators are the ones that think the world belongs to them ,not apple.

    The thing is - without apple interfering , the quality of the service wouldn't be that good.. EVEN if it now IS not good ..it would be even worse . I guess you could imagine , so IMAGINE how MUCH the precious T-Mobile would charge you for nonstop i-net ... video downloads etc.. do you have any idea how much- A FORTUNE .



    Wrong.



    You are just wrong, my friend. Before the iPhone was even announced, t-mobile had unlimited internet access available in the UK for £7.50/month. I would imagine they have similar deals in Germany.



    I know that in the US Apple is doing consumers a favour with the contracts it is providing, but in Europe they are more expensive for what you get than the competition.



    My housemate is trying to decide whether to get an iPhone. He's currently on £25/month (on O2) for 600 anytime minutes and 2000 evening/weekend minutes. He could add the data plan to that for £7.50, making £32.50. If he went to an iPhone contract, £35 (the closest) would get him only 200 minutes.



    Amorya
  • Reply 15 of 71
    Not according to 02 you can not have unlimited data.
  • Reply 16 of 71
    Oh my god.



    Is the world going mad?



    If Apple want to sell there bloody phone on T Mobile only then they should be able to. Fuck Vodafone the brainless idiots they had their chance and would not play ball.



    Same as some people on here, what is wrong with you?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by csimmons View Post


    An extremely silly statement.

    The fact that Apple was able to get the deal that they got without having to succumb to T-Mobile's (Or AT&T / O2 / Orange for that matter) branding of the device - something that Vodafone more than likely insisted on during negotiations - makes them a helluva lot smarter than other manufacturers, whose wares are generally neutered by the carriers' insistance of modifying the software and placing their logos everywhere, yet Apple is the bad guy here? Please.



    As I mentioned elsewhere on AI, if the iPhone was deemed a flop in Europe, Vodafone wouldn't have gone to the courts in the first place. They're scared. Period. A german newspaper recently put the number of Vodafone customers who bought iPhones at ca. 5000 so far. That's a lot of lost hardware revenue for Vodafone. This restraining order against T-Mobile makes them look desparate. If this is the only way they can compete, that's pretty sad indeed.



    This guy has got the idea, maybe you like taking it from the networks. But the deal in the UK is a good one as far as I am concerned and I came from 1000 min/txt a month for £25.



    Apple have started something here and the corporations are scrambling to stop it, some of you sheep are even defending them.



    If you don't like AT&T or 02 etc then don't get the phone end of. Its up to you, personally I believe the state/judicial system has no place sticking its nose into this. I will now never use a Vodafone product for their disgraceful and shameful actions.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Lets face it, United States is light years behind Europe and Japan in the cell phone market. Better phones, more flexible plans, and the best prepaid system I've seen.



    But the abundance of the newest technology in cell phones in Europe are making me laugh at my Verizon carrier and their shitty phones;



    Verizon- "Here's our newest phone. Sure it's been out for 2 maybe 3 years everywhere else, but we just barely got it to work with our proprietary system. Ohh, and by the way, we disabled all the cool stuff from it so that you may buy more shit through us".



    I'm from Poland, the so called red-headed step child of Europe. If they can get all the cool phones, what the hell is US doing?
  • Reply 18 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amorya View Post


    Wrong.



    You are just wrong, my friend. Before the iPhone was even announced, t-mobile had unlimited internet access available in the UK for £7.50/month. I would imagine they have similar deals in Germany.



    I know that in the US Apple is doing consumers a favour with the contracts it is providing, but in Europe they are more expensive for what you get than the competition.



    My housemate is trying to decide whether to get an iPhone. He's currently on £25/month (on O2) for 600 anytime minutes and 2000 evening/weekend minutes. He could add the data plan to that for £7.50, making £32.50. If he went to an iPhone contract, £35 (the closest) would get him only 200 minutes.



    Amorya



    And you have just proven the best point of all. If your housemate is getting such a wonderful deal from O2, then why should he switch? If the iPhone is truly a better product, then isn't it worth paying more? I have chosen not to purchase an iPhone because I do not want to switch carriers. As long as there are enough people willing to pay AT&T for use of this phone then why should Apple bring it out for other carriers? I don't like it, but I have no legal right to complain and very little moral or business ground to stand on. If Apple sees a large enough opportunity to make money off of me and others like me, then trust me, they will.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We want the iPhone to be available to everyone without being tied to a contract," he said.



    Translation: "we want people to buy iPhones and keep paying for our

    service, without us having to pay Apple anything".



    What a parasitic company.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by csimmons View Post


    An extremely silly statement.



    I'm an Apple shareholder, and have no real problem with Apple making money off of the iPhone.



    What's so bad about apple wanting to control the iPhone experience? What's so bad about them wanting a piece of the revenues from data plans, if it's their device the plans are being bought for?



    I have no problem with Apple making money on the phone itself, that's fine, because it's their product, but it's not Apple that provides the service. If Apple wanted money for both, they should have set up an MVNO.



    I think the tie-in is a retarded business model. Can you imagine if the only way you could buy a Mac, you had to buy two years of AOL service? Or if the only way to buy a sink and faucet is through your water supplier? Or your light bulbs through the power company? The whole business model of having to buy the phone through the provider is a regression to the days that you could only buy the phone through Ma Bell. I'm sure all of those tie-ins could be done under the banner of "controlling the experience".
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