updated 09:35 am EST, Fri December 26, 2008
Orange-free French iPhone
People looking for an iPhone in France can now buy one without having to go through the country's official carrier, Orange, a local retailer has announced. FNAC is now selling a contract-free version of the iPhone 3G, though at a significant markup. An 8GB version of the phone is priced at €799 ($1,123), while black or white 16B models are selling for €899 ($1,263). By contrast, similar options in Belgium are priced at only €529 and €619.
The FNAC iPhones are most likely a product of a recent government ruling, temporarily forcing Apple and Orange to allow sales of the device by other companies. Bouygues Telecom has accused the pair of hurting competition in France, by virtue of an exclusive deal; while the government has yet to make a final decision on guilt, it has so far sided with Bouygues.