Various sources are saying Apple has agreed to sell unlocked phones in France—because, well, French law says they have to—but our own Gizmodo says it’s only rumor at this point: “Apple told us that the piece was based solely off of reading French Law, not from statements by Orange or Apple.”
Despite what Apple’s telling us, the International Herald Tribune quotes a spokeswoman for the French telecom company Orange:
Orange plans to sell both a version of the iPhone locked to its network in France for €399, or $560, and an unlocked version, which will cost more, an Orange spokeswoman, Béatrice Mandrine, said.
If Apple does end up selling unlocked iPhones, Americans who hope to score a legitimately unlocked phone will probably have to pay a premium, considering the unsubsidized price and the weak dollar. They’ll also have a short window of opportunity to get a fully functional phone, because we don’t imagine any upcoming 3G-equipped models will be U.S. friendly since Europe and the U.S. have different 3G networks. And who knows what kind of stunt Apple might try to pull on ex-patriated French iPhones with the next software/firmware update.
“Apple chooses Orange as iPhone operator in France” [International Herald Tribune]
“Rumor Smashed: French iPhone’s Unlock Status Still Unknown” [Gizmodo]