Dutch iPhone carrier challenging Apple's exclusive European contracts

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    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
  • Reply 3 of 39
    stourquestourque Posts: 354member
    Just wondering if these European carriers charge roaming fees outside their home country? Can't have it both ways.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    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"...
  • Reply 5 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    bobrikbobrik Posts: 36member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    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.



  • Reply 9 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    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'.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,618member
    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. :-)
  • Reply 12 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 804member
    Guess KPN hasn't had any dealings with Apples legal department. Good luck to then, they'll need it.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    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.....
  • Reply 18 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    stourquestourque Posts: 354member
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 39
    psedogpsedog Posts: 14member
    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
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