iPhone Re-Locked in Germany as Court Upholds T-Mobile’s Franchise

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Includes: AAPL, DTEGY, VOD
by: Tiernan Ray

There goes the unlocked iPhone moment over in Germany. Hamburg District Court today granted an appeal wiping aside a Nov. 21 decision in which Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) T-Mobile unit was ordered to sell Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone without a contract, for use with any GSM cellular operator’s network. The suit against T-Mobile’s exclusive deal to sell the iPhone, which went on sale in Germany on Nov. 9, was brought by rival Vodafone PLC. (NASDAQ:VOD).

Germany, which offers the iPhone with a contract for 399 Euros, or roughly $588, had been offering a version for 999 Euros, or roughly $1,472.

No word on whether this suit will have any impact on France’s rule that carrier Orange must offer non-exclusive versions of the iPhone, or whether it will serve as precedent, legal or otherwise, for other countries offering the phone. Sorry, no word on whether Vodafone can or will pursue further action in this direction. (If you know anything about German court procedure, feel free to chime in.)

Deutsche Telekom shares Tuesday are up 1.36% at $22.49, while Apple shares are up a little over half a percent at $179.87 and Vodafone shares are down almost 1% at $37.28.