October 17, 2007
The speculation over the future of the Apple iPhone in France is finally over, as local mobile operator Orange signs an exclusive deal to deliver the iconic device.
The failure of Apple and Orange to officially announce an iPhone partnership in France had caused a stir over the past couple of weeks.
The respective announcements from O2 UK and T-Mobile Germany came out as and when predicted, but the lack of something official from Orange France raised a few eyebrows, particularly as Apple Expo in Paris has been and gone.
The word on the web is that Orange and Apple failed to see eye to eye over the contract, widely believed to centre on the operator kickback on iPhone service revenues, estimated to be anything between 20 and 40 per cent. Or, it could be that some intricacies of French law prohibit Orange from selling the phone exclusively.
Nevertheless, the deal will be exclusive and French consumers will get the device on November 29, 20 days later than the Brits and Germans.
The iPhone will be available in an 8GB model for Eur399 including VAT on any subscription to one of the dedicated rate plans. Orange has not yet revealed details of its iPhone tariffs or length of the contract but all other iPhone carriers have demanded a two year lock in.
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