iPhone could breach laws in Australia

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The upcoming release of the iPhone in Australia could be illegal under current trade practises laws, according to a group of law researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

The current legal hiccup could delay the arrival of the iPhone to Australia to another few months, as Apple are having exclusivity deals with mobile carriers, saying it is anti-competitive.

“The iPhone is breaking new ground in using technology to restrict customer’s choice in technology markets,” said QUT law researcher Dale Clapperton.

The findings come from an analysis over the iPhone in relation with Australia’s competition laws by Dr Clapperton and fellow expert Professor Stephen Corones. Their findings were then published in the QUT Law and Justice Journal.

The findings come as a response to Apple’s current arrangement with AT&T in the US, O2 in the UK, T-Mobile in Germany and Orange in France.

If Apple was going to release it in Australia, they might have to provide the phone unlocked or even offer it to both Singtel for Australia and Asia, and Telstra in Australia; meaning that Optus and Telstra would be able to sell the iPhone. This might also include the other mobile carriers, including Vodafone and 3.

This could see Australia being the first country in the world to offer the iPhone on different carriers without resorting to “crack” the iPhone.

The iPhone could be sold exclusively to Apple and then would allow SIM cards from all the mobile phone carriers in Australia.

Apple Australia has refused to comment on this new revelation.

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