Apple and Orange are officially a pair

We’ve known for a long time, just as we did with O2 and T-Mobile, but Orange has finally been officially confirmed as the iPhone carrier of choice in France. I use the phrase “of choice” deliberately, as you can see what might have been the sticking point over the past couple of weeks.

Orange told me that French law means Apple will have to make a SIM unlocked version of the device available. Yep, that means it can be used on another carrier network. But before millions of French people start setting up their eBay stores, the company hasn’t yet revealed the price of the unlocked version. Some suggest it might set you back Eur1000, in which case it’s still probably cheaper to buy a locked one and risk hacking it. You also won’t be able to get Visual Voicemail and probably won’t have iTunes wireless access either.

Either way, Apple will have to supply the SIM free phone in order to comply with the law but there’s nothing stopping it trying to turn the unlocked Apple into a lemon.

Also, thanks go out to PR firm XL Communications for sending in some “Bored of the iPhone” t-shirts. We probably wouldn’t wear them down the pub but they’re quite funny all the same. Indeed, it is JUST a phone after all.



  1. Avatar CIO 18/10/2007 @ 9:03 am

    Is it true that the french low prohibits device lock? i.e will we see the iphone available to use with other SIM cards, hence operators in France?

  2. Avatar James Middleton 18/10/2007 @ 9:47 am

    It is indeed true that French law means Apple will have to make an unlocked version of the device available. And that means it can be used on another carrier network.
    Expect it to be expensive and minus some services though.

  3. Avatar Steph Pittet 19/10/2007 @ 3:30 pm

    The French law does not allow for a product (any kind of consumer product, not telecom-specific) to be sold ties up to another, if it’s not also sold on its own. In this very example, the first product is the iPhone, sold together with the second product, the Orange contract. To meet the law’s requirement, Orange also has to sell the Iphone alone, free of its tie to an Orange contract, meaning that users could then put a SFR or Bouygues telecom SIM in it, and Aplle wouldn’t gain any money from these devices usage, as they don’t have a revenue-share deal with SFR, nor Bouygues.
    The French press is asuming that the price of an iPhone alone will be €999(!!!), i.e. enough to keep people away from buying it without the Orange contract.

    Steph Pittet

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