Contract-free iPhones on sale in France for $1100

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    $1,123! <cough cough choke choke!>
  • Reply 2 of 45
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Sacrebleu
  • Reply 4 of 45
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Apple, get this clear: contract-iPhone and/or locked iPhone = NO PURCHASE!
  • Reply 5 of 45
    Hahahahahaha! Ahhh... made my day.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    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!>



  • Reply 9 of 45
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,315member
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 45
    robb01robb01 Posts: 148member
    Wow, just wow





    ___________

  • Reply 11 of 45
    WTF!!!!!! i'll never spend that much EVER on a phone that have to be joking
  • Reply 12 of 45
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Is this umlocked for France telecom SIM cards or got any&all SIM cards?
  • Reply 13 of 45
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,016member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Certainly leaves you wondering how much of a subsidy Apple is getting from these wireless carriers.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 45
    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...
  • Reply 19 of 45
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 45
    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]
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