updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed October 10, 2007
iPhone launch in France?
Apple on Wednesday said there was no confirmed launch date for the iPhone in France, adding fuel to the ongoing controversy about the popular device's launch date in that country. Earlier this week, French telecom Orange claimed that the steps to make the iPhone available in France would see completion by the end of the month, but an Apple Europe spokesperson told Thomson Financial News that while the device will be available in Germany and the UK starting November 9th, "we have not announced any other country launch dates in Europe." Following a partnership announcement by Orange, reports surfaced that Apple and Orange were at odds with one another over the proposed percentage of service revenues that Apple would earn as part of the exclusive deal carrier partnership in France. [corrected]
Meanwhile, other reports indicate that French consumer protections laws may actually delay the introduction of the iPhone. Earlier this month, one local newspaper pointed to a law meant to protect public choice, saying that it may delay the arrival of the iPhone in France. French publication Les Echos writes that under the terms of the law, the iPhone will have to be sold with and without contracts, thereby preventing Apple from forming an exclusive deal with French carrier Orange.
The French law passed on November 17th, 1998 requires that mobile carriers unlock a phone during the first six months of a contract for a cost and offer the service for free after the initial six month of any contract.
That report also indicated that Apple was seeking as much as 30 percent of Orange's voice and data revenues from iPhone contracts.