What's the difference between the locked Apple iPhone sold by T-Mobile Germany and the much more expensive unlocked version sold by the same carrier? Not a jot, it seems: the process of unlocking the handset is handled post-purchase by iTunes.
So claims local website MacNotesDe, which detailed the process. Buy an iPhone and pay the €600 'unlocking fee' - the unlocked version's €999 price minus the €399 T-Mobile wants for the locked model. T-Mobile records your handset's IMEI, which it then submits to Apple. Some 24 hours later, you activate your iPhone in the usual way using iTunes, but this time the handset is unlocked.
Some MacNotesDe correspondents report that the whole activation process takes place in seconds.