Will Apple Hold Its Ground Against Hong Kong Legal Challenge Over the iPhone 5?

Hong Kong Telecommunications, a division of PCCW Ltd., has requested a judicial review of the Communication Authority’s refusal to investigate Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for its policy of restricting carriers for the iPhone 5, according to court documents reported on by the Bloomberg News. The court documents filed by PCCW are dated February 20th and specifically request a judicial review of what PCCW maintains is the regulator’s mishandling of the investigation of Apple’s “anti-competitive conduct.”

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Currently, the iPhone 5 incorporates a SIM card that prevents its users from accessing PCCW’s high-speed 4G network. However, the iPhone does allow users to access other carriers’ 4G networks, including PCCW’s direct competitors in the high-speed network market in Hong Kong. The iPhone 5 also allows users to subscribe to PCCW’s slower 3G network.

If PCCW’s complaint moves forward, it could be the first step to a successful legal challenge to Apple’s iPhone 5 locking policy in the lucrative Hong Kong market. It is important for PCCW to succeed in this challenge in order to remain competitive, especially as the iPhone 5 grows in popularity in the thriving Hong Kong market. It will take time to see what preventing the iPhone 5 from subscribing to PCCW’s network will do to the Hong Kong company…

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