German mobile operator, T-Mobile, has had its hand forced and is now selling unlocked Apple iPhones for the princely sum of Eur999.

As we reported yesterday, Vodafone Germany has won an injunction against the iPhone’s exclusive German carrier, T-Mobile, forcing the company to sell a version of the device without a lock to the network.

Vodafone obtained the injunction, which T-Mobile is appealing, because German law states that ‘exclusive’ products which are tied to another product or service – such as a mobile contract – must also be made available on a standalone basis.

Apple has encountered a very similar situation in France and is likely to in other European countries. Orange France will launch the iPhone in the country on November 29, weeks later than its UK and German counterparts. The reason for the delay is thought to be because of deliberations over the same legal issues in France.

“T-Mobile remains the exclusive provider of Apple iPhones,” the operator said. “T-Mobile will meet this requirement until the legal aspects have been clarified. The telephone offered without a T-Mobile contract is available for Eur999 in all Deutsche Telekom shops selling the Apple iPhone.”

The legal conditions also require that all devices sold from November 19 can be unlocked free of charge at the customer’s request. This is because the injunction submitted by Vodafone was received on November 19.

Conceivably, this means that consumers can actually get an unlocked iPhone for Eur399, rather than spending Eur999 as the tariff selection and phone activation are all done in the comfort of the iPhone owner’s home via iTunes.

Presumably, a customer would simply have to go into a T-Mobile shop, purchase an iPhone to use on the T-Mobile network for Eur399, get it unlocked but not activate a T-mobile contract via iTunes.

Naturally, the Visual Voicemail service will not work on any other network except T-Mobile’s, as this requires a specific operator infrastructure. T-Mo is also pushing the coverage of its EDGE network as another plus point – it’s set to offer almost 100 per cent coverage by the end of the year, as well as offering over 8,000 wifi hotspots.

Update: T-Mobile Germany has been in touch and informed us that in order to purchase an iPhone at the Eur399 price, the buyer must sign a contract for a two year subscription to T-Mobile’s service. This and the Eur999 price tag for an unlocked model may just put the kibosh on a grey market for the iPhone developing in Germany.