updated 01:10 pm EDT, Tue October 16, 2007
iPhones in France Nov. 29
Apple today announced that Orange, the leading wireless carrier in France, will be the exclusive French carrier partner for its iPhone when the handset ships on Thursday, November 29th. "The iPhone is a marvelous product and will change how people think about mobile," said France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard. "I'm delighted that it is launching in France through Orange, and I'm sure that our customers share my excitement." Today's confirmation of a set date on iPhones destined for France comes after a disagreement between Apple and Orange surfaced in late September. Orange disputed Apple's proposed percentage of service revenues as part of the iPhone deal, which threatened to compromise the cellular carrier's promise made on September 20th that it would bring iPhones to French consumers before Christmas and as early as November.
Both Apple and Orange vowed to settle the iPhone deal by November, but Apple added fuel to rumors of further complications when it announced publicly on October 10th that there was no confirmed launch date for the iPhone in France.
Another issue may still loom over the now-settled deal, however, as reports of French consumer protection laws could delay the iPhone's introduction regardless of successful negotiations between the two companies.