European carriers fighting to unlock the iPhone

Will Europe's attempts to open up the iPhone result in more of the same here in the US?

The Guardian is reporting that Vodafone is planning to offer an unlocked iPhone in Germany, while Orange (in France) is planning to sell an unlocked version, as French law requires. Vodafone's actions are particularly interesting....

After all, it's T-Mobile that got the exclusive deal with Apple, but Vodafone challenged the deal in a Hamburg court, and The Guardian reports that T-Mobile is now considering selling an unlocked version of the iPhone for a higher price (presumably to appease the court).

Fabrizio may be right: it may be a plot on Vodafone's part to scuttle T-Mobile Germany's holiday cheer:

You can read this news as you like. It is clearly a plot by Vodafone to screw iPhone sales for T-Mobile during Christmas. However, the end result is that Vodafone is kicking and screaming to force unlocked phones in the market. Which is huge.

Right again, Fabrizio. Hopefully this fight over unlocked iPhones in Europe will lead to real competition abroad and at home, here in the US.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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