updated 01:45 pm EST, Tue November 27, 2007
Cheaper unlocked iPhones
German-based wireless carrier Debitel is launching a service plan for Apple's iPhone to capitalize on a recent court ruling that forced Deutsche Telekom and the Cupertino-based company to offer the handset as an unlocked device, capable of working with other cellular providers. Debitel is offering customers a €600 sign-up bonus to make up for the additional cost of purchasing an unlocked iPhone in Germany, according to AFX News, which makes unlocked iPhones cost the same amount as those sold with a 2-year Deutsche Telekom cellular contract.
Apple initially offered its iPhone exclusively via Deutsche Telekom with a 2-year contract, but was forced via a court injunction to produce unlocked devices in the name of competitor fairness. Apple jacked up the price of the unlocked devices, however, charging non-Deutsche Telekom customers a whopping €1,000 per unit. Debitel's new initiative effectively offsets the price increase for German customers, enabling them to purchase iPhones for the regular locked price of €600.
Apple is also planning to launch its iPhone in France on Thursday, where government officials told the company that it could not offer the cellular handset as part of an exclusive agreement with any one carrier.