updated 05:00 pm EST, Tue November 27, 2007
Orange iPhone numbers
As the launch of the French iPhone approaches, France Telecom's Orange wireless anticipates being able to sell 100,000 iPhones by the end of 2007. Reuters reports that as the company is bracing themselves for the upcoming launch, competitors Vivendi SFR and Bouygues Telecom are preparing to counter the release with 3G+ service on their networks. Apple is hoping that the device's cult status will overcome both competing services, and the prospect of the two year contract - something that is unappealing in a country where unlocked phones are commonplace.
Orange will be selling the handset for 400 euros, and will be offering an unlocked handset. Although pricing has not been set for the unlocked model, Didier Lombard - CEO of France Telecom - said that it will be lower than the 1000 euros proposed by Germany's T-Mobile. While Lombard indicated that pricing will be available Wednesday morning, he offered preliminary pricing examples, saying that a 24-month contract would start at 50 euros, which includes 2 hours of talk time, with 50 text messages included. Users interested in the 12-month contract option will pay 4.50 euros in addition to any monthly charges.
After selling over a million iPhones in the US, the German and British launches posted some equally impressive stats, with 10,000 iPhones sold in Germany, and UK's O2 reporting over 8,000 activations after the initial burst of iPhone sales.