German court bans iPhone Net telephony

I nearly snorted into my coffee yesterday morning when I read that the German courts have banned the use of Internet telephony on iPhones on the country's T-Mobile phone network.

Specifically, the German legal bigwigs have banned the download of an iPhone VOIP application from SIPgate, which allows punters to use WiFi connections to make Net telephony calls.

The software is normally sold via Apple's iTunes application store and the German courts have apparently ordered Apple to remove the software from its German language site.

What's interesting about the court's decision is that it sided with the exclusive seller of the iPhone in Germany - T-Mobile - in that installing the SIPgate application requires users to unlock the handset using so-called Jailbreak software.

This need, say the courts, breaks T-Mobile's terms and conditions, which is why it's banned the sale of the application.

That's won't stop German punters from installing the software, as I suspect they'll get it from a non-Apple sauce, sorry, source.

And T-Mobile didn't get all its own way in court, as the newswires say that the carrier is banned from promoting its iPhone calling plans in Germany as giving users unrestricted Internet access with unlimited

Unrestricted? Not really.

I wonder where this leaves the TruPhone application for the iPhone?

Unlike the SIPgate app, TruPhone also works across 3G data networks, although the beta test version doesn't support incoming calls - not that you'd really use the application for this...