I had earlier decided to skip this story, since I'm not aware that we have many, if any German readers, and T-Mobile of Germany only sold 10,000 or so iPhones so far. UK-based Vodafone has been calling sour grapes on the iPhone for a while now. They're the parent company of Verizon, they passed on the iPhone 1.0, they want 3G, they don't want to give up their control and just become a data network, they've made a lot of noise throughout the iPhone's launch and they've been very effective about staying in the press. Anyway, Vodafone sued T-Mobile for a stop of how they marketed the iPhone because it violated some German laws. They filed the lawsuit a few days ago, and it would appear that Vodafone just won their case.
The resolution of the lawsuit ended in an interesting outcome: it would seem that the iPhone is available unlocked for use with any carrier, with no contract, available from T-Mobile for €999. That's right, an unlocked iPhone can be yours for the bargain price of about $1500 U.S. I don't think they'll have many takers, but my hope is that at least one hacker figures out how they activate these special $1500 iPhones and mimics the process so that *any* unlocked phone can skip or bypass the sometimes-very-difficult activation process and publishes it for the cred. Barring that, that a group of hackers figure it out and charge for a solution.