Vodafone was clearly in the running for the iPhone contract but after missing out the network has thrown a mother of all strops.
Media heavyweight CNN is reporting the somewhat shocking news that the German wing of Vodafone PLC has obtained a restraining order against T-Mobile which stops it from selling iPhones across the whole of Germany.
Apparently Vod-non-ifone has (s)jealousy(/s) issues with T-Mobile’s sales practices centred around the exclusive contracts it (and Apple dictates) that come with the handset. Vodafone argues the iPhone should be available on all tariffs – which, in theory it should.
Still, while Vodafone has a point both the action and its timing are odd for many reasons. Firstly, limited iPhone only contracts have been known about for a long time. Secondly, they aren’t exclusive to T-Mobile since O2 in the UK and Orange in France do the same thing. Thirdly, why only go after T-Mobile and Germany? Fourth, why penalise everyday German customers who are prepared to buy the handset as it is now? Fifth… I could go on, but you get the point.
At this stage T-Mobile has confirmed it has received the restraining order but says it will study it further before making comment. Despite the injunction it is also unclear whether all iPhone sales are/will be stopped until the (s)hissy fit(/s) matter is resolved.
In related and somewhat ironic news, Italian site Morse claims Vodafone will land an exclusive deal for a 3G version of the iPhone when it supposedly goes on sale in May. Ifs, maybes and buts… let’s not go there yet.