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Contract-free iPhones on sale in France for $1100

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Following a recent ruling by local regulators, French consumers can now purchase an iPhone 3G without signing a service contract with Apple-sanctioned wireless carrier Orange, assuming they're willing to digest a considerable markup.

MacNN notes that French retailer FNAC is now selling a contract-free version of the black 8GB iPhone for 799 ($1,123), while black or white 16GB models are fetching 899 ($1,263).

That's more than five times the 149 in-contract cost for the 8GB model announced by Orange back in July, and considerably more than similar contract-free offerings in Belgium priced at 529 and 619.

The iPhones on sale at FNAC are believed to be the result of a ruling earlier this month by the French competition counsel, which ordered Apple to immediately cease its exclusive relationship with France Telecom's Orange and allow other local carriers to offer the iPhone to their subscribers.

The counsel's ruling came following a September complaint from France's third largest mobile operator, Bouygues Telecom, which alleged the deal between Apple and its larger rival violated local freedom of competition and pricing laws.

France Telecom has appealed the decision, which is said to be a temporary measure instated by the counsel while it continues to investigate the merits of Bouygues' claims.
post #2 of 46
$1,123! <cough cough choke choke!>
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post #3 of 46
Inconsistent pricing? What's to prevent a user from buying from another country providing unlocked phones? A previous article shows this for about $500 USD less than what you'd pay in France. Or for that matter, buy a $99 refurb from AT&T and break the contract right away. Heck, for the savings, you'd be able to fly to the US to get the phone yourself and have a nice vacation in the meantime.

That would, of course, require that the radios are the same or at least similar enough and there aren't enough carrier-specific lock-ins to prevent moving with the phone. Again, I'm not sure if that's the case.
post #4 of 46
Sacrebleu
post #5 of 46
Apple, get this clear: contract-iPhone and/or locked iPhone = NO PURCHASE!
post #6 of 46
Hahahahahaha! Ahhh... made my day.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple, get this clear: contract-iPhone and/or locked iPhone = NO PURCHASE!

Too bad for you 14 million other people (in 2008 alone) don't feel the same way.
post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple, get this clear: contract-iPhone and/or locked iPhone = NO PURCHASE!

I somehow doubt they're that worried about your purchase demands.

Good decision, Apple. If someone starts telling me what I can and can't do with my products, this is what they get.
post #9 of 46
Hi, converting the amount in dollars makes no sense, if the dollar euro was at 1 to 1, it would appear much cheaper. It's better to compare to prices of other smart phones or iphones sold unlocked in other countries in euro land.
Orange always sold an unlocked phone even before the ruling because they had it according to french law, unfortunately it was very often "unavailable" ...
The ruling was not for unlocked phones to be on sale but rather for other providers to be able to sell it (Bouygues, SFR).





Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

$1,123! <cough cough choke choke!>
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple, get this clear: contract-iPhone and/or locked iPhone = NO PURCHASE!

Well, you got your wish. Just cough up the $1100.00 and it's yours. I don't know what the shipping charge is from France but the whole deal shouldn't cost you more than $1500.00! Go away, Troll!
post #11 of 46
Wow, just wow


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post #12 of 46
WTF!!!!!! i'll never spend that much EVER on a phone that have to be joking
post #13 of 46
Is this umlocked for France telecom SIM cards or got any&all SIM cards?
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post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demolasko View Post

WTF!!!!!! i'll never spend that much EVER on a phone that have to be joking

Fine. Perhaps you can offer an alternative then? This is why carriers subsidize the cost of the hardware. People complain about tying a phone to a specific carrier and when that is no longer the case, they whine about the untied phone being too expensive now.

The first iPhone had the AT&T sharing revenue w/Apple. That's why the phone wasn't "ridiculously" expensive. Now with the subsidized model, it's even cheaper (only referring to hardware).

I would not pay that much for a phone either. But then again, I've been a happy Cingular/AT&T customer for years so it does not affect me really. And the tens of millions of iPhone users don't seem to mind either. I don't see a problem with Apple trying to recoup their hardware costs. It's a pretty technologically advanced piece of hardware and I doubt they are just going to give it away because just you think it's too expensive.

It just goes to show that even when whiners do get what they ask for, they will find another reason to whine yet again.
post #15 of 46
Certainly leaves you wondering how much of a subsidy Apple is getting from these wireless carriers.
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Fine. Perhaps you can offer an alternative then? This is why carriers subsidize the cost of the hardware. People complain about tying a phone to a specific carrier and when that is no longer the case, they whine about the untied phone being too expensive now.

The first iPhone had the AT&T sharing revenue w/Apple. That's why the phone wasn't "ridiculously" expensive. Now with the subsidized model, it's even cheaper (only referring to hardware).

I doubt the US cost would be $1k without the subsidy. It looks like the price of the official unlocked models were always priced to spite.

It's pretty interesting though, I was slammed some time back for suggesting that an official unlocked phone would cost more, but that was by a person whose rhetoric mimicked a particular breed of political commentators that had numerous axes to grind. Anyways, this price is out of sight compared to the cost difference I suggested.
post #17 of 46
From the very beginning Mobistar, an Orange (France) affiliate, has been selling unlocked, officially guaranteed (Apple worldwide) iPhones in Belgian shops (includes Brussels as it is our's and Europe's capital).

Prices: 525 for black 8 GB
615 for white 16 GB
615 for black 16 GB

They're selling on ebay for 549 and 639 respectively.

Heck i'll sell you one if you want proof!


Mz.
post #18 of 46
I'll go ahead and follow up on my own post. Given US prices, that'd mean AT&T is giving Apple ~$38.50/month subsidy (for the 8GB) over 24 months.

Obviously there are other factors: support costs; exchange rate related diffs between US/France. But think about it. Is half of your so-called wireless data/minutes charges really paying for hardware?
post #19 of 46
yeah in most countries the iphone is around 500-630 for contract free phones. these are still network locked however. I'm guessing those french prices are for network free phones.

Ideally the phones should be 500 and be network unlocked, however that's not the case. This is a case where the french are taking their anti competition laws a bit too far. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy an iphone. If you don't like the network locked situation then buy a different phone. There is competition...
post #20 of 46
Makes prices in Belgium seem reasonable. I'm still not buying one in either country until they bring the price down.

All smart phones in Belgium cost a lot but the iPhone really takes the biscuit.

C'mon apple!
post #21 of 46
Makes prices in Belgium seem reasonable. I'm still not buying one in either country until they bring the price down.

All smart phones in Belgium cost a lot but the iPhone really takes the biscuit.

C'mon apple!

[NOTE: Excuse the double post]
post #22 of 46
Hmm, for the first time almost -ever- I find myself agreeing with Jeff.

This price is almost certainly set more out of spite than any other reason. Call it persuasion to stick with the closed/subsidized model, I guess.

Only thing I wonder, though, is why Apple would take this route instead of maximizing sales with a "$199 + subsidy amt" unlocked price... The embarrassment of being proven wrong by having an open system for once?



-Clive
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post #23 of 46
Maybe Orange France could sue them for breaking their commercial agreement put in place when this precedent didn't exist if Apple offered subsidized handsets with another network.

Compared to other smartphone's this is a realistic price for an unsubsidised/unlocked handset.

As the iPhone supports 850MHz and 2100MHz HSDPA the hardware will work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Hmm, for the first time almost -ever- I find myself agreeing with Jeff.

This price is almost certainly set more out of spite than any other reason. Call it persuasion to stick with the subsidized model, I guess.

Only thing I wonder, though, is why Apple would take this route instead of maximizing sales with a "$199 + subsidy amt" unlocked price... The embarrassment of being proven wrong by having an open system for once?



-Clive
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post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Compared to other smartphone's this is a realistic price for an unsubsidised/unlocked handset.

I'd like to contest this quote... The closest competitor is perhaps the SAMSUNG i900 @ ~$550. This iPhone is almost twice as expensive.

-Clive
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post #25 of 46
I'm aware that paying a premium for Apple products comes back to all of us by way of R&D, but this is absurd, regardless of subsidies and contracts. $700-$800 maybe, but this? Not a chance. I loathe the term "fanboy" but it seems that some of you who automatically, and wholeheartedly defend these prices, deserve the title. Maybe it's out of spite, and I guess they have the right to do so, but Apple shouldn't expect allegiance from those of us who are aware that mobile software technology is quickly catching up.
post #26 of 46
I was thinking more along the lines of a HTC touch diamond/Pro/HD, SonyEricsson Experia or Nokia N96 which are all in a similar price bracket.

Further to your example using the Omnia you can also buy a yum cha MP3 player for a lot less than an iPod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I'd like to contest this quote... The closest competitor is perhaps the SAMSUNG i900 @ ~$550. This iPhone is almost twice as expensive.

-Clive
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post #27 of 46
These are most likely NOT official French iphones.

These are sourced from countries like Belgium and Hong Kong where they purchased them and then selling them in France --- therefore of couse they cost more than Belgium iphones.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

This price is almost certainly set more out of spite than any other reason. Call it persuasion to stick with the closed/subsidized model, I guess.

No --- the German price of 999 euro was "out of spite" to the temporary injunction (which was later overturned).

It really shows all those simlocking rules in Europe are garbage --- when all Apple has to do is selling the iphone at 999 euros. Empty legal victories like how they "won" and "forced" Microsoft to sell a version of Windows XP without the media player --- fewer than 1000 copies of that were sold in Europe.

If France really wants to help the French consumer --- then auction off additional 3G licenses and let foreign companies to enter the cell phone service industry. Right now, France has only 3 national carriers and all 3 national carriers are French-owned. What France is doing is a big empty gesture --- that provides nothing to the French consumers while protecting big French carriers from competitions.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-maze View Post

From the very beginning Mobistar, an Orange (France) affiliate, has been selling unlocked, officially guaranteed (Apple worldwide) iPhones in Belgian shops (includes Brussels as it is our's and Europe's capital).

Prices: 525 for black 8 GB
615 for white 16 GB
615 for black 16 GB

They're selling on ebay for 549 and 639 respectively.

Heck i'll sell you one if you want proof!


Mz.

$1,123 = 794,5
So it's not too far off, but 615 still is way too much.
Apple is greedy, governements are greedy.
200 ($282) is the maximum I will pay for an iphone, period.
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post #30 of 46
on the other side of the world, Hong Kong unlocked iPhones are about $700 and $800. While Russia is about $900 and $1000.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...gin_oct_3.html
post #31 of 46
Norway doesn't allow lock-in to any carrier either, but here you can buy the fully unlocked 16 GB version for $690 (4890 NOK) and the 8 GB version for $591 (4189 NOK). I thought that was expensive...
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jervi View Post

Norway doesn't allow lock-in to any carrier either, but here you can buy the fully unlocked 16 GB version for $690 (4890 NOK) and the 8 GB version for $591 (4189 NOK). I thought that was expensive...

Similar price for us in Australia, if we want outright purchases.
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I'd like to contest this quote... The closest competitor is perhaps the SAMSUNG i900 @ ~$550. This iPhone is almost twice as expensive.

-Clive

And it's worth it.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

And it's worth it.

Not that I want to defend the Samsung, but I have to point out that yours is a completely subjective statement.

Hardware-wise they're pretty comparable. I would venture to guess that most here feel it's the software that helps the iPhone edge ahead of other phones. Software, though, has no explicit value like hardware does. Its "price" is set solely on the developer's perceived value of the software in the eyes of its users.

That said, is a piece of software such as the one found in the iPhone really worth (in this example) $550?

-Clive
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post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I'd like to contest this quote... The closest competitor is perhaps the SAMSUNG i900 @ ~$550. This iPhone is almost twice as expensive.

Are you comparing US prices with overseas prices converted to US dollars?
Or the cost of the Samsung i900 vs iPhone - in the same country?

Ignoring that - I looked at prices around the world for outright iPhones, and compared to other Apple products (eg: iPod Touches) to work out Apple's standard conversions and markups. If Apple sold the iPhone outright in the US the 8GB would be US$599, the 16GB would be US$699 (give or take $30)

(ps: I only used 3 countries in my sample, about 4 months ago).
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

MacNN notes that French retailer FNAC is now selling a contract-free version of the black 8GB iPhone for 799 ($1,123), while black or white 16GB models are fetching 899 ($1,263).

That's more than five times the 149 in-contract cost for the 8GB model announced by Orange back in July, and considerably more than similar contract-free offerings in Belgium priced at 529 and 619.

Why are people always comparing European prices including VAT with American prices exclusive VAT?
The VAT in France is 19,6% so Apple is actually getting $939 for the 8GB and the other $184 is going to the government to pay for the social security and (almost) free health care.

In Belgium (21% VAT) Apple is actually getting $611 (8GB) or $715 (16GB), so those prices are not that far from the American unsubsidized prices.

Only consumers have to pay VAT, while citizens outside of EU and companies can get a tax refund.
post #37 of 46
Well, just walked out of a Vodaphone store in Bologna, and that is what they are here for the official Apple unlocked version, and you put in your own SIM. They also give you a free number if you want. The tales of needing more than a passport for an ID are not true.

I think Americans are getting screwed!
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerBug View Post

Why are people always comparing European prices including VAT with American prices exclusive VAT?
The VAT in France is 19,6% so Apple is actually getting $939 for the 8GB and the other $184 is going to the government to pay for the social security and (almost) free health care.

In Belgium (21% VAT) Apple is actually getting $611 (8GB) or $715 (16GB), so those prices are not that far from the American unsubsidized prices.

Only consumers have to pay VAT, while citizens outside of EU and companies can get a tax refund.


The Phone House had unsimlocked/unlocked for the same 699/799€.

http://www.phonehouse.fr/fiche.php?n...sku=IPHONE16GO


BTW, VAT (20.6% in France) is NOT for Social Security. It's just around 10% of my monthly earning, directly taken.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyr View Post

BTW, VAT (20.6% in France) is NOT for Social Security. It's just around 10% of my monthly earning, directly taken.

[offtopic]
According to wikipedia the VAT is 19.6% in France and this page states that it is almost half of the governments income.
What do you think that they do with that money?
[/offtopic]
post #40 of 46
8Gb is US$692 here

16GB is US$794

You can buy then on the HK Apple online store contract free, unlocked for any carrier
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