T-Mobile Germany to sell unlocked iPhones without contract

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Deutsche Telekom mobile arm T-Mobile Germany said Wednesday it will temporarily comply with a court order by selling an unlocked version of Apple Inc.'s iPhone that will also not require customers to sign a two-year contract.

However, those customers who wish to opt out of a T-Mobile service contract will find themselves paying more than twice as much for the Apple handset.

Effective immediately, T-Mobile said it will begin offering the unlocked iPhone, which can function on other wireless networks, for 999 euros ($1,470). It will also continue to sell a version tied to its own network with a two year service contract for 399 euros ($590).

The move is meant to comply with a temporary injunction handed down by a Hamburg court on Monday after rival Vodafone Deutschland asked the court to review T-Mobile's exclusive marketing rights to the iPhone in Germany, which it believes are in breach of local laws.

T-Mobile, in conjunction with Apple, launched the touch-screen mobile handset and Internet communications device on November 9th. The deal between the two companies was meant to be exclusive, where T-Mobile would be the only German carrier to offer the device in return for handing over a portion of its service revenues to Apple.

As part of its decision to comply with the court's order, T-Mobile also said Wednesday that it will provide unlock codes free of charge to customers who had previously purchased an iPhone, allowing them to use their phone on other wireless networks.

T-Mobile plans to appeal the temporary injunction, but said it will abide by the court's ruling to open the iPhone until the legal situation is resolved.


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