The latest carrier rumored to be winning a distribution deal for Apple’s iPhone is Orange (at last). MacScoop reports unnamed sources as saying the France Telecom subsidiary is either near a deal or has already signed one and formulated a marketing plan in July in case it was successful in winning the handset. The deal involves a subscription revenue share with Apple and an initial order for 50,000 units for a November launch, says the site. The report has since filtered through France’s Le Figaro and Forbes, which both surmise Apple is more likely to strike individual national deals around Europe than with a single pan-continental carrier.
Something in-between (multiple deals covering multiple territories) may still be likely, however – Orange is in seven countries other than France, Telefonica’s O2 is in a total six, T-Mobile is in nine. If footprint is what Apple wants, Vodafone has the ground covered in 27 countries, but the remaining three operators, between them, may offer sufficient extra coverage to make exclusivity in chunks of Europe possible. Apple has previously said it will first launch in the major European countries.