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EU: unlocking the iPhone can be legal, if …

After the iTunes Store, Europe now seems to have put the spotlight on the iPhone; the stone of the scandal would be the distribution model of the Apple telephone, a model that would force a buyer not to be able to make a free choice, necessarily having to sign a contract with a specific operator. To bring the attention of the community bodies to an Apple product was a question to the Parliament of Strasbourg, where the Belgian parliamentarian, Said El Khadraoui, asked the consumer protection commissioner Meglena Kuneva to know the opinion of the commission on the sim block phone.

According to El Khadraui, users would not enjoy the freedom of choice which should be guaranteed by a European Directive, according to which a contract term, which has the object or effect of limiting the freedom of the consumer in the choice of a telephone operator, may be judged by the National Court as irregular and therefore not binding on the consumer.

The response of European Commissioner Kuneva was rather interlocutory. On the one hand, explained the member of the executive, when we were faced with certain particularly restrictive conditions, unlocking the phone could also be considered a lawful act, but on the other it has not been denied that Apple can operate, always under certain conditions, the phone lock.

The conditions of merit would be linked to the contractual formulation of Apple's commercial offer, but also to the conformation of the European telephony market which does not seem to configure, at least at the moment, incorrect behavior or abuse of a dominant position. At the moment Apple, Kuneva continues, does not occupy a monopolistic position in the mobile market, in the same way even O2, Orange and T-Mobile cannot be considered dominant operators in the respective countries in which they operate. , therefore, the details to evaluate how irregular the sales model that Apple offers in Europe for its mobile phone would not be present.

If we go further into the Italian situation, we must remember that the Guarantor has already established the stakes within which the contracts must fall in order not to slip into the "particularly restrictive conditions": no more than 18 months in duration, subsidized telephone and possibility to exit the bond by paying the cancellation penalty after a certain period of time.

Ultimately when iPhone arrives in Italy, if Apple respects the rules set by the Guarantor, unauthorized unlocking of the phone will still not be allowed and will represent an illegal violation of the contractual rules.