VOD Spoils iPhone Fun
9:00 AM -- Vodafone Germany looks like a great big spoilsport as it attempts to rain on T-Mobile International AG 's iPhone parade. Vodafone won a temporary injunction to stop T-Mobile from selling the iPhone, because the operator believes the exclusive marketing practices are illegal. Vodafone wants T-Mobile to sell unlocked iPhones that can be used on any network.(See iPhone's Damp Squib.)
"They're selling an unsubsidized mobile phone with a locked SIM card on a contract basis only," says a Vodafone Germany spokesman. "In our view, this is breaking local laws."
T-Mobile does not have to stop selling the iPhone immediately. Vodafone could enforce an immediate injunction, but the operator says it's not doing that at the moment.
The next step is for a regional court in Hamburg to decide whether it is indeed illegal to sell locked iPhones in Germany. If so, T-Mobile may have to sell unlocked iPhones, just as Orange France has to in France. (See France Unlocks the iPhone.)
Vodafone won't be spoiling Telefónica UK Ltd. 's iPhone fun in the U.K., though, because the laws are different. A Vodafone spokesman says that the operator has no plans to serve injunctions anywhere outside Germany.
— Michelle Donegan, Spoilsporting Editor, Unstrung