IPhone Launched In France; Unlocked For $1104

Orange has begun selling the iPhone in France for 399 euros (US$588) with a two-year subscription, the same price as T-Mobile in Germany…but the unlocked version will cost 649 euros (US$956) “to which the user will have to add 100 euros if another operator is used” reports Reuters. That’s a lot less than the 999 euros T-Mobile is charging for unlocked phones. The exclusivity period is for more than two years, and Orange France director Louis-Pierre Wenes is quoted in Le Figaro as saying: “To be clear, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) could one day extend distribution to other players … But in that case we have guarantees that they will be sold with Orange contracts.” There’s already some grey-market iPhones in France for slightly cheaper than Orange’s unlocked phones, although one company selling them — phoneandphone.com — at the end of October agreed to stop selling them until the product was launched in France following legal threats from Apple reports AP.
Maybe the France launch is why there has been a lot of iPhone related news lately, such as AT&T dissing Verizon’s “open” announcement because it has the handset. Other references include:
— Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) CEO Paul Jacobs has praised the iPhone for attracting attention to the fact that mobile phones can send and receive data.