Germany’s T-Mobile has responded to complaints from competitors Vodaphone and Debitel and offer German customer an option to buy an Apple iPhone without signing a T-Mobile service contract. The price? €999, or almost $1,500 U.S. dollars.
T-Mobile is the exclusive seller of the iPhone in Germany, when the phone debuted on November 9, customers were required to sign up for two years of service (costing over €1,100 at the low end) in addition to paying €399 for the iPhone itself. Debitel filed a complaint with German telecommunications regulators that the unsubsidized iPhone could not legally be locked to a single provider; Vodafone followed up with a suit, and earlier this week got a preliminary injunction preventing T-Mobile from locking the iPhone to T-Mobile’s network.
T-Mobile says it will comply with the injunction until the legal status of iPhone locking is settled by a court. In the meantime, customers have an option of buying an unlocked iPhone; customers who purchased an iphone after November 19 (when the injunction went into effect) will also have the option of having the device unlocked for free.
Unlocked iPhones can be used on compatible networks other than T-Mobile; however, not all the iPhones features (like visual voice mail) are supported on non-partner mobile networks.
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