You'll have to bear with us on this one folks as the news is a bit muffled crossing the Atlantic, language, and cultural divides, but UK-based Vodafone has reportedly received a restraining order against T-Mobile's iPhone sales in Germany. Vodafone's issue is the exclusivity contract with Apple and fee structure within T-Mobile's subscription offering. What's odd here is the language of the Dow Jones piece which claims that the Hamburg order, issued Monday is, "prohibiting the German telecommunications giant from selling Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone in Germany." That sounds like a full stop (pending appeal) of all iPhone sales in Germany. The Financial Times, however, says that the order "will not disrupt sales" as the Christmas purchases accelerate. Vodafone is framing their argument around customer choice while admitting that it's the revenue sharing model, and possibility that Nokia or Ericsson follow suit, which has prompted the legal action. At least they're not sticking their heads in the sand this time.
Update: Dow Jones has now clarified the situation. A Vodafone spokesman says, "The preliminary injunction filed in Hamburg doesn't mean Telekom will have to cease marketing the product immediately." Deutsche Telekom is the parent of T-Mobile Germany. He goes on to say, "We're not taking any plans to replicate these actions anywhere else, or in the U.K."
Read -- Dow Jones
Read -- Deutsche Telekom (translated)
Read -- FT
Vodafone Germany obtains restraining order against T-Mobile iPhone sales
Thomas Ricker|@trixxy|November 20, 2007 1:27 AM