Monday, February 25, 2008

iPhone contracts may be illegal in Australia - Apple may be forced to sell unlocked iPhones in Australia

Apple may be forced to sell unlocked iPhones in AustraliaApple wants iPhone customers to not only buy their handset locked to an exclusive wireless operator's network, but Apple has been forced to re-evaluate their business model when it released the iPhone in France. Telecom regulations in France required that Apple and Orange sell unlocked versions of the iPhone if the pair wanted to launch the iPhone in the country.

Well, it seems that Apple has hit another iPhone-exclusivity obstacle in the land "down-unda." Dr. Clapperton and fellow Queensland University of Technology law expert Professor Stephen Corones have published findings that indicate that Apple's exclusivity requirement for the iPhone could run aground of Australia's Trade Practices Act provision. "If Apple enter into an exclusive agreement with any particular carrier then it would be a matter for the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) as to whether that agreement was anticompetitive and contravened the trade practices act," says Dr. Clapperton.

Will Apple sell unlocked iPhones alongside carrier-locked iPhones like we saw happen with Orange France? Well, if Apple really wants to crack the Australian market, then they might just have to give in and give up on the carrier-exclusivity. We may just see unlocked iPhones offered by Telstra Australia.

[Via: Australian IT]

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