updated 06:00 pm EST, Fri November 30, 2007
Telekaeden selling iPhones
Apple is threatening Danish wireless distributor Telekæden with legal action, after the chain has been selling unlocked iPhones without the company's permission. Politeken.dk reports that Telekæden is selling the units for almost 6,000 kr (~$1200 US) through its website, unlocked so that they may be used with any GSM-based carrier, which counters Apple's current business model for the device. Apple intends to release the iPhone in Denmark under the same business model - providing a locked version to a preferred GSM carrier - despite running into numerous legal hitches in both France and Germany.
Lawyer Johan Løje - Apple's Danish legal representative - claims in a letter to Telekæden that they are selling illegally imported units without Apple's permission. Apple insists that the distributor signs a legally binding document that would force Telekæden to cease selling the modified iPhones, as well as handing over any and all stock of the devices to Løje, without compensation. Apple is also seeking damages and legal fees, and want to bind the company from ever selling Apple products again, unless prior permission is given.
"We see Apple's move, and the attitude upon which it's based, as a threat against the free market rules. Goods should be able to travel freely, and be priced freely within Europe," says head of sales in Telekæden, Klaus Engelbrecht. "We don't believe we've done anything wrong. We don't need express permission from Nokia to sell a Nokia phone".
Although Apple gave a deadline of 4PM local time, Telekæden is not expected to respond in an official manner until next week. When asked for a comment, Løje said Apple's motives are based on iPhone imports outside of Europe being illegal, and explained that he could not comment further on the matter.