New From T-Mobile Deutschland: The $1,478 Defeatured iPhone
The clever folks at Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit have figured out a way to comply with a court order prohibiting the sales of iPhones tethered to its network, and still remain the exclusive German carrier of the device: sell the iPhone without a T-Mobile contract at a wallet-shriveling price.
And so this morning, the company began offering prospective iPhone buyers a choice: purchase the device with a two-year T-Mobile service contract for 399 euros ($591) or without a contract for 999 euros ($1,478). And if for some reason you choose the latter, don’t expect your iPhone to be fully functional, because some iPhone services are only available with a T-Mobile subscription. Now which version of the device was it that you were interested in?
Analysts say that the arrival of an unlocked iPhone in the German market will likely signal the end of Apple’s exclusive deals with carriers, though that seems questionable given the unlocked phone’s dizzying price point and hamstrung feature set. Certainly, T-Mobile doesn’t seem too worried. “We have no doubt that the success story of the iPhone from Apple in Germany and T-Mobile will be updated,” T-Mobile Managing Director Philipp Humm said in a poorly translated press release. “The distribution model is correct, only because our customers will benefit from exclusive features and custom tariffs. The proper function of the iPhone in our network was tested for months, only T-Mobile offers data transmission standard EDGE nationwide, which the iPhone for fast Internet communications. No other mobile operator offers more WLAN-HotSpots as T-Mobile. I would like to assure our customers that T-Mobile as exclusive distribution partner of the iPhone continue to be the best package of network quality, service and competitive prices.”