European mobile operator Orange is to stagger its launch of the iPhone 3G, meaning French users will have to wait until July 17 to get their hands on the device.

The majority of other first launch markets will be getting the Apple device almost a week earlier, on July 11, and this includes Orange customers in Austria, Portugal and Switzerland.

Orange customers in the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Luxembourg, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Orange’s African markets will have to wait until “later this year”.

France Telecom’s mobile unit will sell the 8GB device for Eur149 with a 24 month contract, while the 16GB version will go for Eur199.

Prepay models will be available for Eur199 and Eur249 respectively, although Orange didn’t say whether it would bundle free data access with the prepay device like O2 UK plans to.

Five tariffs are available for French iPhone users, ranging from Eur49 per month for two hours talktime and 50 text messages, through to Eur149 per month for 12 hours talktime and 1000 text messages. All packages come with data access, which is capped at 500Mb per month, and the higher end bundles include 100 hours of wifi usage.