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MacRumors
Dec 6, 2007, 08:07 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Orange launched (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/28/orange-announces-iphone-france-and-unlocking-options/) the iPhone in France last week and has sold 30,000 (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/12/05/30000-iphones-sold-in-france/) iPhones since that time. Due to French law, Orange is required to allow the phone to be unlocked 6 months after its purchase. In the meanwhile, however, they are allowing customers to pay an additional 100 euro to unlock their iPhone, no matter what plan they choose.

To recap, you can purchase the iPhone in France a number of ways:

399 euro = iPhone + 2 year "iPhone" Orange contract
549 euro = iPhone + any Orange contract
649 euro = iPhone with no contract

And for the first six months, a 100 euro add-on allows you to unlock your iPhone. Unlocking the iPhone allows it to accept SIM cards from any other network, though you would still be bound by the contractual obligations listed above. The early stats from Orange provides interesting information about customer interests.

Apparently, 20% of early iPhone purchasers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7128941.stm) have opted for this unlocked option. Meanwhile 1500 (~5%) (http://www.itwire.com/content/view/15666/1103/) paid for the 649 euro contract-less version. It's unclear how many of those paid for the official unlock, or opted for one of the many free hacks available. Finally, 48% of customers buying iPhones were new to the Orange network.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/05/20-of-iphones-in-france-unlocked-and-other-stats/)



DMann
Dec 6, 2007, 08:11 AM
Sure is great to have options.....

al256
Dec 6, 2007, 08:11 AM
Such better, more progressive laws...

Wish we would change our laws here in the US to something more like that.

fastbite
Dec 6, 2007, 08:21 AM
20% unlocked sounds about right. I don't think there is a perfect carrier anywhere, as they are all a bunch of morons for one reason or another -- but having some flexibility is essential.

panamajack
Dec 6, 2007, 08:23 AM
The article states:

"Due to French law, Orange is required to allow the phone to be unlocked 6 months after its launch."

Does that mean in six months time all iPhones sold in France will be unlocked?

I suspect you meant to say:

"Due to French law, Orange is required to allow the phone to be unlocked 6 months after purchase and/or after an iPhone plan as been activated".

I apologize if it's the former: if true these French laws really are incredible ! Nonetheless, using the launch date as a reference point makes this article's entire point rather confusing.

LeviG
Dec 6, 2007, 08:24 AM
would be nice to think that maybe when the 3g iphone comes out that maybe the UK would get this option too, might actually make me consider buying one (well if they fix the main issues I have), o2 is a no go for me as they're useless in my area.

MrCrowbar
Dec 6, 2007, 08:35 AM
So I'm paying 749 Euro for an iPhone that I can only use in 6 months because I can't (legally) unlock it beforehand?

EDIT: Ah, now I got it. 749 is if I want it unlocked right away. If I wait 6 months, I will be able to buy an unlocked one for 649 Euros, which is kind of a reasonable price. Maybe I'll ditch (sell on eBay) my iPod nano and that crappy Sony Ericsson and get an iPhone. It's a 4 hour drive to France from here so I could do that over a weekend and combine it with a nice dinner or something.

I don't care about internet on the go too much (is KisMac out for the iPhone yet? :-) ), I just want to have just one device to carry around. My pants only have so many pockets.

boz0
Dec 6, 2007, 08:43 AM
So I'm paying 749 Euro for an iPhone that I can only use in 6 months because I can't (legally) unlock it beforehand?

Nope, if you pay 749 euros, it'll be immediately unlocked (and w/o a contract).
If you pay 649 euros, you get a contract-free phone, but you have to wait 6 months to have it unlocked for free (obviously, you can also use any publicly available hack).
If you pay 399 euros, you get a 2-year contract with Orange, and a locked iphone that you can unlock for free 6 months later (which does *not* release you from your contract with Orange).

As a side note, while about half of the iPhone buyers were new to the Orange network, it's also true that people switch from a network to another very easily in France, mostly to get a cheap subsidized new phone, and thanks to those nice European rules which allow you to keep your old phone number.

megfilmworks
Dec 6, 2007, 08:44 AM
Such better, more progressive laws...

Wish we would change our laws here in the US to something more like that.
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 08:49 AM
Such better, more progressive laws...

Wish we would change our laws here in the US to something more like that.

Our laws are fine here, if two company's want to work together to make a product they should be able to without the government coming in and telling them who they can sell to or how they can sell their product.

MrCrowbar
Dec 6, 2007, 08:52 AM
If you pay 649 euros, you get a contract-free phone, but you have to wait 6 months to have it unlocked for free (obviously, you can also use any publicly available hack).


Thanks for the info. It says 6 months after release, so I guess I could wait 6 months, then buy the unlocked one for 649 Euros, right?

And about those "publicly available hacks"; Can I buy an iPhone now, hack it, then after 6 months, revert to the pre-hack state and get it unlocked legally? I heard about people posting in these forums that it's common to "unhack" an iPhone to get the latest updates, then hack them again when the new hack is out.

Darkroom
Dec 6, 2007, 08:55 AM
i'll buy one when the plans are $20/month, or when it comes to Canada, which ever comes first ;)

boz0
Dec 6, 2007, 08:58 AM
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

These laws limit the freedom of businesses to completely screw their customers by locking them in.

Imagine for a second that your car came with a mandatory contract, and that you had to buy your gas at a specific pump for the next two years, while offering you no benefit whatsoever. Would that seem fair to you?

The message is simple : do business however you want as long as you respect the law. Why you people would want businesses to be above the law is beyond me ... and it's also the main reason why major companies are still screwing our planet.

boz0
Dec 6, 2007, 09:00 AM
Thanks for the info. It says 6 months after release, so I guess I could wait 6 months, then buy the unlocked one for 649 Euros, right?
I don't think so. I think you have to buy it now, and you can have it unlocked after 6 months.

You'd still have to use Orange as a carrier, but you could choose whichever plan you like, including prepaid.

And about those "publicly available hacks"; Can I buy an iPhone now, hack it, then after 6 months, revert to the pre-hack state and get it unlocked legally? I heard about people posting in these forums that it's common to "unhack" an iPhone to get the latest updates, then hack them again when the new hack is out.

This sounds like it should work, but I'm not familiar enough with the technical details to be sure of it.

Small White Car
Dec 6, 2007, 09:09 AM
Imagine for a second that your car came with a mandatory contract, and that you had to buy your gas at a specific pump for the next two years, while offering you no benefit whatsoever. Would that seem fair to you?

So what?

Seriously. If GM came out with this car next year, why should the government care?

If it sells, doesn't that mean some people DO like it? If it doesn't sell, won't the company stop making it?

Those are the 2 choices. Either people want it or they don't. Why should the government care either way?

I'm not sure if it looks like it, but this is an honest question.

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 09:20 AM
These laws limit the freedom of businesses to completely screw their customers by locking them in.

Imagine for a second that your car came with a mandatory contract, and that you had to buy your gas at a specific pump for the next two years, while offering you no benefit whatsoever. Would that seem fair to you?

The message is simple : do business however you want as long as you respect the law. Why you people would want businesses to be above the law is beyond me ... and it's also the main reason why major companies are still screwing our planet.

I would not buy a car if I did not like the contract, that choice would impact the company that sold the car in a negative way, then I would buy a car from another company with a contract that I liked which would impact that company in a positive way. You have that choice...

How would you like it if you and our partner worked on a product, invested lots of your money & time & you took great risk to get the product to the market place & the big fat lazy government walked in which does nothing, says here a law that will benefit your competitor, the company's that you're competing with will now get to sell what you have been working on. How would you like that?

It's laws like this keep people from innovating & you may not have things like the iphone with laws like the one you want, which might explain why both company's that partnered to bring us the iphone are American...NOT French...where they have such great laws & a great economy.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 09:41 AM
How would you like it if you and our partner worked on a product, invested lots of your money & time & you took great risk to get the product to the market place & the big fat lazy government walked in which does nothing, says here a law that will benefit your competitor, the company's that you're competing with will now get to sell what you have been working on. How would you like that?

How would you like it if you and your partner worked on a great wireless network, invested lots of time and money and created a network with great reliability, coverage and customer service and then the government comes in and says, "Sorry, a whole giant group of potential customers can't use your network because the phone they want, which is perfectly capable of working on the network technically, is locked out of it. They'll have to give their money to your competitor that they have no desire to sign up with so they can use the phone." How would you like that?

The EU laws are about greater consumer choice. Corporations still innovate in Europe, they probably innovate more because consumers have more freedom of choice. That's why they're not stuck with three wireless networks like we are...

Otaviano
Dec 6, 2007, 09:48 AM
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

Limit freedom for who, greedy corporations or customers?

Small White Car
Dec 6, 2007, 09:54 AM
"Sorry, a whole giant group of potential customers can't use your network because the phone they want, which is perfectly capable of working on the network technically, is locked out of it. They'll have to give their money to your competitor that they have no desire to sign up with so they can use the phone." How would you like that?

There's no "technical" reason Burger King can't make a Big Mac. You think it would be better if the government forced McDonalds to let them make and sell it?

Really??

How can you justify this position? I'm assuming you can since it's an identical situation. I don't get it.

twoodcc
Dec 6, 2007, 09:55 AM
cool. i'd say the iPhone is doing pretty good in France, especially considering those prices

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 09:57 AM
The original news reports in French never said that 20% of the iphones were unlocked. They said that 80% of the iphones were purchased with "iphone specific" contracts. They also said that 1500 iphones (5% of 3000) were sold without any contracts.

So what they are saying is that the other 15% are iphones purchased with other Orange contracts.

MrCrowbar
Dec 6, 2007, 09:58 AM
Where can I buy the unlocked french iPhone? I speak fluent french but I didn't find anything about the unlocked version on Orange's websites. I understand they try to hide the choice so they sell more of the contract phones, but still...

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 10:02 AM
How would you like it if you and your partner worked on a great wireless network, invested lots of time and money and created a network with great reliability, coverage and customer service and then the government comes in and says, "Sorry, a whole giant group of potential customers can't use your network because the phone they want, which is perfectly capable of working on the network technically, is locked out of it. They'll have to give their money to your competitor that they have no desire to sign up with so they can use the phone." How would you like that?

The EU laws are about greater consumer choice. Corporations still innovate in Europe, they probably innovate more because consumers have more freedom of choice. That's why they're not stuck with three wireless networks like we are...

Honestly I would not like it, but I'm mature enough to know that it's fair so I'm ok with it. And the lack of that phone that I had nothing to do with that all my customers want, would motivate me to come up with a better phone than the one that my competitor is selling. I did not make the iphone, Apple & ATT did, in my opinion it's none of my or the government business to tell them what to do. I respect their hard work & innovation & do not want to screw with it.

Also I'm a T-Mobile customer & I'm not a big fan of ATT so I would love for T-Mobile to be able to sell the iphone and as much as I would love that combo I still would not want the government to steal from ATT to give to T-Mobile, which is what would be happening.

Otaviano
Dec 6, 2007, 10:04 AM
How would you like it if you and our partner worked on a product, invested lots of your money & time & you took great risk to get the product to the market place & the big fat lazy government walked in which does nothing, says here a law that will benefit your competitor, the company's that you're competing with will now get to sell what you have been working on. How would you like that?

It's laws like this keep people from innovating & you may not have things like the iphone with laws like the one you want, which might explain why both company's that partnered to bring us the iphone are American...NOT French...where they have such great laws & a great economy.

What a load of bs this post is, please point me in the direction of some reports that show any of Apple's European carriers investing time and money into the development of the iPhone? It's an anti-competitive practice on the part of Apple, which limits the options of their customers so they can receive kickbacks.

Furthermore it prevents growth and competition amongst carriers, because if the iPhone was released unlocked and it sold 30,000 in one weekend then every carrier in the country would be doing backflips trying to offers the best plans in an effort to get new customers. This much has already been displayed in the short period when unlocked phones where available in Germany. The iPhone was unlocked in Germany for no more than two weeks and you had one carrier offering €600 rebates. Imagine if it was sold unlocked from the beginning at a reasonable price, like €600? Carriers would be offering true unlimited data plans, plans with a decent amount of minutes, and so fourth. Instead we have these joke plans, that are only acceptable because you don't have a choice.

The only people benefiting from this are Apple and their shareholders, and I have yet to see one decent argument to prove otherwise in all these threads. It's just the same old rhetoric with nothing to back it up, talk about innovation and competition.

I lived in the United States for a long time, and when I was there you could not send SMS messages from a cell phone to a cell phone on a competing carrier. Want to guess when this was? It was in 2001. You really want to tell me that your industry without government interference is in better shape than hours. Even today in 2007, my mother had to make a huge fuss to be able to send and receive text messages with phones in Europe.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the info. It says 6 months after release, so I guess I could wait 6 months, then buy the unlocked one for 649 Euros, right?

No, the French laws allow the mobile subscriber to obtain the unlocking codes for free (from the carrier) after he purchased the cell phone for 6 months. But within the first 6 months of his purchase, the carrier can charge an unlocking fee.

So, you can buy a "contract free" iphone for 649 euros and sit on it for 6 months --- and then ask Orange to give you the unlocking code for free in May 2008. Of course, Apple can drop the price for the 2G iphone by 200 euros in 6 months time when they are announcing the 3G iphone.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 10:06 AM
There's no "technical" reason Burger King can't make a Big Mac. You think it would be better if the government forced McDonalds to let them make and sell it?

Really??

How can you justify this position? I'm assuming you can since it's an identical situation. I don't get it.


I think if you can defend a corporation for limiting consumer choice, I can defend it for providing it.

I seriously can't believe some of the arguments the people supporting the iPhone lock come up with to defend a $160 billion company.

Also, I'm not saying to throw copyrights and registered trademarks out the door here. I wouldn't allow Nokia to make the iPhone, I just think the phone itself and the service plan are two different animals and should be treated as such. It's so logical, I don't know how the US dropped the ball on this when mobiles first started to gain ground here. I don't go to BestBuy and pick up a corded phone and expect to be forced to use Qwest when I get home. Why should that be the case with mobiles?

And honestly, I think Burger King making a Big Mac is far less silly than me not being able to buy a phone, choose a mobile plan and put the two together.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:11 AM
Furthermore it prevents growth and competition amongst carriers, because if the iPhone was released unlocked and it sold 30,000 in one weekend then every carrier in the country would be doing backflips trying to offers the best plans in an effort to get new customers.

You really want to tell me that your industry without government interference is in better shape than hours.

There was never that big of a competition in the european mobile service industry.

You want to see competition --- then look at the US mobile service industry. The smaller number 2 carrier (Verizon Wireless) said no the iphone --- because VZW thought they are competitive enough without the iphone. AT&T sold 270,000 iphones in 1 weekend. And what happened? VZW still beat AT&T in retail net adds in Q3.

Well, somehow with all the European government interference with anti-trust laws, consumer protection laws, and simlocking laws --- Europeans manage to pay more for the iphone hardware and more for the iphone service plans than Americans.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 10:14 AM
I did not make the iphone, Apple & ATT did, in my opinion it's none of my or the government business to tell them what to do. I respect their hard work & innovation & do not want to screw with it..

What a load of bs this post is, please point me in the direction of some reports that show any of Apple's European carriers investing time and money into the development of the iPhone? It's an anti-competitive practice on the part of Apple, which limits the options of their customers so they can receive kickbacks.

As Otaviano pointed out, the iPhone is not an Apple/AT&T innovation, it's simply an Apple innovation.

That's why from country to country, they have deals with different carriers. Otherwise, they'd have a universal contract with one carrier (since even the European carriers have stakes in the US ones).

If you were correct and it was a joint effort, the exclusivity makes perfect sense. It's the fact that Apple sold out the iPhone to the highest bidder and now a product which clearly works with other networks (as the hackers have proven) is tied to one is what's troublesome.

j763
Dec 6, 2007, 10:15 AM
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

Oh yes, those shackles of regulation must come off... let's abolish the FAA while we're at it. Why have any consumer protection laws?

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:15 AM
I seriously can't believe some of the arguments the people supporting the iPhone lock come up with to defend a $160 billion company.

Well, I can't believe some of the arguments the people supporting Nokia or Google on their so-called openness when they are richer than God.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 10:16 AM
Well, somehow with all the European government interference with anti-trust laws, consumer protection laws, and simlocking laws --- Europeans manage to pay more for the iphone hardware and more for the iphone service plans than Americans.

Don't cloud the numbers with the iPhone.

Europeans pay far less than Americans do for wireless service; the iPhone is the exception, not the rule.

Small White Car
Dec 6, 2007, 10:17 AM
Also, I'm not saying to throw copyrights and registered trademarks out the door here. I wouldn't allow Nokia to make the iPhone, I just think the phone itself and the service plan are two different animals and should be treated as such. It's so logical, I don't know how the US dropped the ball on this when mobiles first started to gain ground here. I don't go to BestBuy and pick up a corded phone and expect to be forced to use Qwest when I get home. Why should that be the case with mobiles?

All of this would make perfect sense if there were NO unlocked phones in the U.S. If every single one was tied to a carrier, this would be a problem.

But that's not true. There ARE unlocked phones available. People have choices.

What you're saying is that EVERY phone should be unlocked. I say, as long as there are options for both kinds, what's the problem? It's only a problem when consumers can't choose between locked and unlocked phones. And they can do that.

Ok, you're going to say "but the iPhone is unique!" That's true, but I only find that argument relevant when we're talking about necessities like housing or healthcare. THEN we can talk about what the government should be doing. But an iPhone is not a necessity. A CELL PHONE is a necessity, yes, but an iPhone is not.

The government SHOULD interfere to make sure people can get the things they need. But the "need" here is simply 'A Cell Phone.' And people do have choices in that field. 'An iPhone' is NOT a necessary thing. The government should only get involved once it is.

scpt
Dec 6, 2007, 10:18 AM
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

I am surprised there are people who care more about 'big corporates' loosing their 'flexibilty' in doing business....rather than caring about 'consumers' loosing their flexibility in choosing a technology.

If that is the case, the Govt. shouldn't care about all this coporate monopoly issues either. If a company can use its business skills and monopolize in its area...why should the Govt. interfere???? Remember all the fuss created when Microsoft bundled the IE for free with it OS ? People called it Microsoft trying to exploit its monopoly in the OS market to boost up the usage of IE.

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 10:22 AM
What a load of bs this post is, please point me in the direction of some reports that show any of Apple's European carriers investing time and money into the development of the iPhone? It's an anti-competitive practice on the part of Apple, which limits the options of their customers so they can receive kickbacks.

Furthermore it prevents growth and competition amongst carriers, because if the iPhone was released unlocked and it sold 30,000 in one weekend then every carrier in the country would be doing backflips trying to offers the best plans in an effort to get new customers. This much has already been displayed in the short period when unlocked phones where available in Germany. The iPhone was unlocked in Germany for no more than two weeks and you had one carrier offering €600 rebates. Imagine if it was sold unlocked from the beginning at a reasonable price, like €600? Carriers would be offering true unlimited data plans, plans with a decent amount of minutes, and so fourth. Instead we have these joke plans, that are only acceptable because you don't have a choice.

The only people benefiting from this are Apple and their shareholders, and I have yet to see one decent argument to prove otherwise in all these threads. It's just the same old rhetoric with nothing to back it up, talk about innovation and competition.

I lived in the United States for a long time, and when I was there you could not send SMS messages from a cell phone to a cell phone on a competing carrier. Want to guess when this was? It was in 2001. You really want to tell me that your industry without government interference is in better shape than hours. Even today in 2007, my mother had to make a huge fuss to be able to send and receive text messages with phones in Europe.

Show me where European carriers are not investing time and money to make their network compatible (visual voice mail) with the iphone. How does Apple locking the iphone benefit them anyway? Seems to me locking the iphone out from other carriers benefits the carrier that is able to sell the phone not Apple.
Our system is not perfect but I like it better, if I wanted more socialism I would move to Europe.

Small White Car
Dec 6, 2007, 10:23 AM
I am surprised there are people who care more about 'big corporates' loosing their 'flexibilty' in doing business....rather than caring about 'consumers' loosing their flexibility in choosing a technology.

Where do you get money from. A tree?

Because you sure act like there are "buyers" and "sellers" out there and you're either one or the other. Maybe that's your life, but I bet 99% of the people in here both spend AND make money.

In other words, most people here belong to both groups, so why are you acting like any actions here are going to affect only people on one "side?" Nearly everyone's involved on both sides you know!

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 10:24 AM
All of this would make perfect sense if there were NO unlocked phones in the U.S. If every single one was tied to a carrier, this would be a problem.

But that's not true. There ARE unlocked phones available. People have choices.

What you're saying is that EVERY phone should be unlocked. I say, as long as there are options for both kinds, what's the problem? It's only a problem when consumers can't choose between locked and unlocked phones. And they can do that.

Ok, you're going to say "but the iPhone is unique!" That's true, but I only find that argument relevant when we're talking about necessities like housing or healthcare. THEN we can talk about what the government should be doing. But an iPhone is not a necessity. A CELL PHONE is a necessity, yes, but an iPhone is not.

The government SHOULD interfere to make sure people can get the things they need. But the "need" here is simply 'A Cell Phone.' And people do have choices in that field. 'An iPhone' is NOT a necessary thing. The government should only get involved once it is.

This is a good point, and one that I've considered.

My argument is not that the iPhone is unique but rather that I agree with what you're implying - that all phones should be unlocked.

That being said, I was under the impression that the iPhone is the only mobile that doesn't have an option of being purchased unlocked, or which a carrier won't give an unlock code for an existing customer once they've reached a certain term in their contract (with the exception of CDMA vs GSM, of course, where many CDMA phones cannot be unlocked since they don't use SIM Cards). Am I wrong here? Are there other phones whose unlock codes have never been released - even to the carriers - by the manufacturer?

shikimo
Dec 6, 2007, 10:28 AM
Such better, more progressive laws...

Wish we would change our laws here in the US to something more like that.

Careful what you wish for. :) While in some ways consumers really are better off here, in other ways we just get the shaft, all in the name of 'fairness.' In my opinion, it's really more a case of having laws brought about by a different mindset than it is a case of being better or more progressive...

What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

...however, the US government tells lots and lots of Americans how to run their businesses. It's a different style of control, but the idea of the US market as a haven of free enterprise is a joke. To my knowledge, the closest thing to a free market these days is probably found in the Baltic states...if I had a lot of venture capital I'd be learning Estonian :cool:.


It's laws like this keep people from innovating & you may not have things like the iphone with laws like the one you want, which might explain why both company's that partnered to bring us the iphone are American...NOT French...where they have such great laws & a great economy.

Now that right thar is just good 'ol fashuned redneck thinkin': as if great products have never been invented outside the US. As if the US is even the world leader in consumer product innovation...as if, to consider just one relevant example, cell phone technology wasn't pioneered in Japan and Europe (Scandinavia in particular). Japan has one of the most protected economies in the world, and it's not stopping them from crushing the US in tech development. I go there regularly and HOLY SCHNIKIES they have cool toys! Always 2-3 years before I see them in the US. Even here in the alleged socialist paradise of France there are things invented here that you can't yet buy in the US...but that does, of course, go the other way too, depending on the type of product. I'm not saying anyone is better than anyone else; I'm just pointing out that innovative products are just as often determined by cultural priorities and weird geo-political goings-on as by (alleged) economic conditions.

Where can I buy the unlocked french iPhone? I speak fluent french but I didn't find anything about the unlocked version on Orange's websites. I understand they try to hide the choice so they sell more of the contract phones, but still...

This is a weird thing, I agree; I'm not in the market, but I've been to Orange stores just to see what's up with the iPhone and the option to buy one totally unlocked isn't marked anywhere, and in my experience most French consumers aren't the type to go asking for things not on display. Every single non-affiliated portable-selling store in Lyon, however, has giant signs all over the place advertising unlocked iPhones for suspiciously low prices. Don't know what that's all about.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:29 AM
Europeans pay far less than Americans do for wireless service; the iPhone is the exception, not the rule.

UK, Germany and France (the three largest European countries with the highest GDP per capita) have higher price per voice minute than Americans.

Americans talk about 800 minutes a month. Europeans talk about 150 minutes a month.

Small White Car
Dec 6, 2007, 10:30 AM
Are there other phones whose unlock codes have never been released - even to the carriers - by the manufacturer?

I'm not enough of a cell-junkie to know.

I know there have been phones that were locked to particular carriers for many months after coming out. Beyond that, I don't know. I use a 3 year old Nokia that makes phone calls and has a bowling game. That's the last time I paid much attention to phones, honestly.

ChrisA
Dec 6, 2007, 10:32 AM
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

The air waves are a shared public "place" like the ocean or the sky. The rules govern how the that public place is to be shared. So yes I do want rules that prevent some business grabbing a part of some public place for itself.

What about laws that take away my freedom to do things like break into your house and take all your stuff? All laws restrict some one's actions.

shikimo
Dec 6, 2007, 10:34 AM
UK, Germany and France (the three largest European countries with the highest GDP per capita) have higher price per voice minute than Americans.

Americans talk about 800 minutes a month. Europeans talk about 150 minutes a month.

But that comparison is skewed, because most Europeans don't pay a cent for incoming calls, and those calls aren't factored into the numbers for the holder of the phone receiving the call. I use one of my phones to talk to clients in Asia--some months 1000s of minutes--but they call me so they don't count. In the US, unless it's changed, incoming minutes still come off the bloc of total free minutes, correct?

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:34 AM
I am surprised there are people who care more about 'big corporates' loosing their 'flexibilty' in doing business....rather than caring about 'consumers' loosing their flexibility in choosing a technology.

If that is the case, the Govt. shouldn't care about all this coporate monopoly issues either. If a company can use its business skills and monopolize in its area...why should the Govt. interfere???? Remember all the fuss created when Microsoft bundled the IE for free with it OS ? People called it Microsoft trying to exploit its monopoly in the OS market to boost up the usage of IE.

The problem is that the European approach is totally useless --- like the so-called punishing Microsoft by forcing them to sell a version of windows xp without the media player.

Look at the european launch of the iphone --- all the layers and layers of government interference and they ended up with a more expensive phone and more expensive phone plans.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:38 AM
But that comparison is skewed, because most Europeans don't pay a cent for incoming calls, and those calls aren't factored into the numbers for the holder of the phone receiving the call. I use one of my phones to talk to clients in Asia--some months 1000s of minutes--but they call me so they don't count. In the US, unless it's changed, incoming minutes still come off the bloc of total free minutes, correct?

Yes, you are correct that we pay for incoming calls. But even by cutting half the US figures (to account for the incoming issue) --- Americans still manage to talk 2.5 times the amount of minutes than Europeans.

Also most Americans has unlimited M2M and unlimited nights and weekends.

csdb
Dec 6, 2007, 10:44 AM
"It's unclear how many of those paid for the official unlock, or opted for one of the many free hacks available."

Sorry to contradict you, but there are no free hack available AT THIS TIME for the French iPhone sold by Orange.
Version 1.1.2 with BL 4.6 (the one sold in France) is not yet broken to allow you to use any SIM card with it !

May be in the next few weeks !!!!

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 10:49 AM
[QUOTE=shikimo;4585394] Now that right thar is just good 'ol fashuned redneck thinkin': as if great products have never been invented outside the US. As if the US is even the world leader in consumer product innovation...as if, to consider just one relevant example, cell phone technology wasn't pioneered in Japan and Europe (Scandinavia in particular). Japan has one of the most protected economies in the world, and it's not stopping them from crushing the US in tech development. I go there regularly and HOLY SCHNIKIES they have cool toys! Always 2-3 years before I see them in the US. Even here in the alleged socialist paradise of France there are things invented here that you can't yet buy in the US...but that does, of course, go the other way too, depending on the type of product. I'm not saying anyone is better than anyone else; I'm just pointing out that innovative products are just as often determined by cultural priorities and weird geo-political goings-on as by (alleged) economic conditions.

"Redneck thinking" that's funny... Educate me? How is Japan crushing the US in tech development?

I think what it boils down to is YOU are not Apple YOU have no say so in the matter, if you don't like it don't buy the iphone, accept it & quit crying about it. I can't get the iphone because I'm sign a contract with T-Mobile & T-Mobile did not work out a deal with Apple in the U.S & I'm fine with it. Not crying here....Also I don't depend on the government to get the things I want I get them myself....

MrCrowbar
Dec 6, 2007, 10:49 AM
This is a weird thing, I agree; I'm not in the market, but I've been to Orange stores just to see what's up with the iPhone and the option to buy one totally unlocked isn't marked anywhere, and in my experience most French consumers aren't the type to go asking for things not on display. Every single non-affiliated portable-selling store in Lyon, however, has giant signs all over the place advertising unlocked iPhones for suspiciously low prices. Don't know what that's all about.

Hmm... my guess is the average costumer doesn't know what "unlocked" means. They just see "399 €", "iPhone", "forfait" (i.w.contract)

Or the french translation of "unlocked" is confusing. You wouldn't buy an "unlocked" car that has no locks, would you? :p

Ben C
Dec 6, 2007, 10:50 AM
Where can I buy the unlocked french iPhone? I speak fluent french but I didn't find anything about the unlocked version on Orange's websites. I understand they try to hide the choice so they sell more of the contract phones, but still...Yes, I found this interesting. Has anyone found anywhere to buy it online?

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 10:52 AM
That being said, I was under the impression that the iPhone is the only mobile that doesn't have an option of being purchased unlocked, or which a carrier won't give an unlock code for an existing customer once they've reached a certain term in their contract (with the exception of CDMA vs GSM, of course, where many CDMA phones cannot be unlocked since they don't use SIM Cards). Am I wrong here? Are there other phones whose unlock codes have never been released - even to the carriers - by the manufacturer?

Somehow --- early on --- and without any American laws, AT&T managed to promise that they will provide unlocking codes for the iphones once your iphone contract is over.

Somehow --- with all kinds of simlocking laws, O2 is saying that they will never provide the unlocking codes for the iphone, even when your iphone contract is over. Samething with T-Mobile Germany. Only after they overturned the Vodafone injunction did T-Mobile Germany volunteer to provide unlocking codes to the iphone once you finish your iphone contract.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 10:53 AM
Yes, you are correct that we pay for incoming calls. But even by cutting half the US figures (to account for the incoming issue) --- Americans still manage to talk 2.5 times the amount of minutes than Europeans.

Also most Americans has unlimited M2M and unlimited nights and weekends.

Also, I'd love to see how these rates change for text and data.

Most Americans use these features (especially text) much less than those in other parts of the world.

sirdir
Dec 6, 2007, 10:59 AM
AFAIK there's no 'illegal hack' available for the phones sold in France yet.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 11:00 AM
Most Americans use these features (especially text) much less than those in other parts of the world.

While there are some legitimate use for SMS --- like avoiding someone's call, or texting people while in class --- they represent a small percentage of the daily SMS usage.

Europeans use SMS because it's cheaper than voice calls. Americans don't use SMS because they can afford a zillion minutes.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 11:01 AM
Somehow --- early on --- and without any American laws, AT&T managed to promise that they will provide unlocking codes for the iphones once your iphone contract is over.

So you're saying you only needed to be forced to use the network the Apple/AT&T cartel dictate for two years and after they've gotten their $1,500 in contract fees from you, you're free to unlock your now out of date phone to use on the provider you would have preferred in the first place?

It's win-win!

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 11:03 AM
While there are some legitimate use for SMS --- like avoiding someone's call, or texting people while in class --- they represent a small percentage of the daily SMS usage.

Europeans use SMS because it's cheaper than voice calls. Americans don't use SMS because they can afford a zillion minutes.

Not true when incoming calls are free, as has been mentioned.

Americans don't use SMS because they're always 2-3 years behind in mobile habits and technology.

Look at who uses SMS in the States and you'll see nearly all the usage comes from teenagers.

As those teenagers grow up, SMS use will slowly reach European levels.

nxent
Dec 6, 2007, 11:07 AM
questions,,
1)if i had one of these unlocked french phones, could i bring it to the states and use it on the tmobile network?
2)the hack 'breaks' that apple releases every so often... these french iphones are immune to?

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 11:07 AM
So you're saying you only needed to be forced to use the network the Apple/AT&T cartel dictate for two years and after they've gotten their $1,500 in contract fees from you, you're free to unlock your now out of date phone to use on the provider you would have preferred in the first place?


We don't live in a perfect world --- but the American iphone users paid for a cheaper iphone and cheaper service plan and a promise to get the unlocking codes for free. That is much better than what the Europeans are facing.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 11:16 AM
We don't live in a perfect world --- but the American iphone users paid for a cheaper iphone and cheaper service plan and a promise to get the unlocking codes for free. That is much better than what the Europeans are facing.

I agree it's better than nothing, but it's hardly a solution.

As we've already established, it's difficult to compare the US and EU markets, so saying Americans have got it better than Europeans shouldn't bear much weight. Just because it's better than they've got it (price-wise) doesn't mean it's good.


questions,,
1)if i had one of these unlocked french phones, could i bring it to the states and use it on the tmobile network?
2)the hack 'breaks' that apple releases every so often... these french iphones are immune to?

1) Yes, as long as you had a T-Mobile SIM (an American one, I assume).

2) Yes, these should update firmware with no problem.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 11:28 AM
I agree it's better than nothing, but it's hardly a solution.

As we've already established, it's difficult to compare the US and EU markets, so saying Americans have got it better than Europeans shouldn't bear much weight. Just because it's better than they've got it (price-wise) doesn't mean it's good.

It was difficult to compare US and Europe because most people (most Europeans) don't know anything about European simlocking laws. So the iphone launch in Europe will clear that up --- the European simlocking laws are absolutely useless.

It was difficult to compare US and Europe because most people would pick some small European country with a vastly different GDP per capita and cost of living standards than the US. What we have here right now is a much better comparison between US and the 3 biggest and richest European countries (UK, Germany and France) which combined has 2/3 of the American population.

With respect to getting a fair comparison between the 2 sides of the Atlantic --- this is as close as you can get for a fair comparison.

Stella
Dec 6, 2007, 11:46 AM
Unfortunately, it doesn't always works that way. Companies collude to control prices etc.

If your an american, I guess you don't mind paying very high drug prices... Due to high drug prices the health insurance premiums are higher. Wouldn't you like government intervention to lower prices, or keep on being ripped off?


I would not buy a car if I did not like the contract, that choice would impact the company that sold the car in a negative way, then I would buy a car from another company with a contract that I liked which would impact that company in a positive way. You have that choice...

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 11:54 AM
Unfortunately, it doesn't always works that way. Companies collude to control prices etc.


It is only price collusion when different competitors in the same industry decide not to compete in price.

Apple and the carriers are not competitors --- they are business partners, so price collusion has nothing to do with it.

Canadians face much higher mobile service plans because the whole industry has only 3 players (Fido is owned by Rogers). That is the same number of national carriers in France --- too little competition means high prices.

macbelgium
Dec 6, 2007, 11:59 AM
So what?

Seriously. If GM came out with this car next year, why should the government care?

If it sells, doesn't that mean some people DO like it? If it doesn't sell, won't the company stop making it?

Those are the 2 choices. Either people want it or they don't. Why should the government care either way?

I'm not sure if it looks like it, but this is an honest question.
I don't really follow the american way of thinking about the government, but here in Europe the government is there to help it's people.How would you like it if you and our partner worked on a product, invested lots of your money & time & you took great risk to get the product to the market place & the big fat lazy government walked in which does nothing, says here a law that will benefit your competitor, the company's that you're competing with will now get to sell what you have been working on. How would you like that?
If anything, it will increase the money you make because the consumer can do more with your product. If Apple would just sell the iPhones without binding it to a specific contract or dealer, people that use other networks would have a reason less not to buy the product. And the government doesn't step in at the end to tell you that what you've done isn't allowed. No, in Europe before a company starts a project it does a little thing called research.There's no "technical" reason Burger King can't make a Big Mac. You think it would be better if the government forced McDonalds to let them make and sell it?We have patents here in Europe. Your analogy doesn't really make sense. It's more like this: McDonalds creates a Big Mac but will only allow McDonalds to sell it (iPhone in USA). If McDonalds would allow Burger King to also sell it's Big Macs (iPhone like it's supposed to be in Europe) then they would sell more of them. And as it's still their Big Macs, they earn more money too. It's not like the dealer selling the iPhone gets the money for it, it's still an Apple product. I don't really understand why Apple would restrict the iPhone to a single dealer. I really don't get it, that's just bad business.Show me where European carriers are not investing time and money to make their network compatible (visual voice mail) with the iphone.The only companies that do that are the ones that sell the iPhone with the contracts. I remember when Apple first wanted to release the iPhone here. They went to the dealers and said: "congratulations, you can sell the iPhone with contract exclusively but you have to change this and this and this in your servers". They refused (it was mentioned on this site too).Our system is not perfect but I like it better, if I wanted more socialism I would move to Europe.You're like a stereotype american. You seem to fear the government and don't want in involved in anything, yet you've got many things under government control.Look at the european launch of the iphone --- all the layers and layers of government interference and they ended up with a more expensive phone and more expensive phone plans.That's just Apple trying to lure people to the iPhones with contracts.How is Japan crushing the US in tech development?Cars, for instance.We don't live in a perfect world --- but the American iphone users paid for a cheaper iphone and cheaper service plan and a promise to get the unlocking codes for free. That is much better than what the Europeans are facing.My mobile phone costs me 10 euro per month on average, I'd like to see an iPhone plan that will cost me only 10 euro per month.the European simlocking laws are absolutely uselessEuropeans want freedom. It is more important to us than the protection of giant companies or technological advancement. And really, we do quite well with or giant sacrifice of technology, don't you think.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 12:08 PM
macbelgium makes such clear, practical points that simply make sense.

I agree with him 100%.

It's obvious he's European ;)

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 12:09 PM
My mobile phone costs me 10 euro per month on average, I'd like to see an iPhone plan that will cost me only 10 euro per month.

Europeans want freedom. It is more important to us than the protection of giant companies or technological advancement. And really, we do quite well with or giant sacrifice of technology, don't you think.

Amercians can also point out some MVNO plans from 7-Eleven that are both very cheap and have prepaid balance that don't expire for like a year.

But if you want a fair comparison, then compare the regular price contract plans on the largest carriers for US, UK, France and Germany.

Americans want to use a cell phone --- as a cell phone. It is more important for us to actually be able to afford to make a phone call. They are also willing to pay extra premium for the best network coverage. Don't you think that it is a more mature thing to do?

macbelgium
Dec 6, 2007, 12:15 PM
Americans want to use a cell phone --- as a cell phone. It is more important for us to actually be able to afford to make a phone call. They are also willing to pay extra premium for the best network coverage. Don't you think that it is a more mature thing to do?
As I said, I pay about 10 euro per month for my mobile phone. That's hardly a cost that will bankrupt me. And I have never been in a situation where I didn't have network coverage, except at the movie theaters where they build Faraday cages around the cinemas.

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 12:17 PM
Unfortunately, it doesn't always works that way. Companies collude to control prices etc.

If your an american, I guess you don't mind paying very high drug prices... Due to high drug prices the health insurance premiums are higher. Wouldn't you like government intervention to lower prices, or keep on being ripped off?

No I would not like government intervention for lower prices in the way Canada does it, I like our way better, that's not to say we can't do better...

I think price controls on drugs takes away some incentive for the drug company's to create more drugs. If there is not enough profit in it for them they won't do it.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 12:19 PM
As I said, I pay about 10 euro per month for my mobile phone. That's hardly a cost that will bankrupt me. And I have never been in a situation where I didn't have network coverage, except at the movie theaters where they build Faraday cages around the cinemas.

How much would you have to pay for a data plan in Belgium?

What Americans pay for the iphone plan --- is a regular price voice plan and a regular data plan. No price gouging in the US for the iphone.

If there is price gouging for the iphone in Europe --- then it's the European carriers that are at fault, nothing to do with Apple.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 12:30 PM
Amercians can also point out some MVNO plans from 7-Eleven that are both very cheap and have prepaid balance that don't expire for like a year.

I have had the equivalent of $10 worth of prepaid minutes last me nearly a month in Europe through a combination of incoming calls and texting.

I don't believe there's anyway one could get close to this in the US, even using prepaid plans - unless, of course, they didn't use the phone at all, but in the period referenced above I must've spent several hundred minutes on it.


But if you want a fair comparison, then compare the regular price contract plans on the largest carriers for US, UK, France and Germany.

I really don't see what your point here is.

OK, let's throw out texting and data - you're left with about 5 cents per minute in the US and 19 cents per minute in Europe.

Now, take into account the free incoming calls that don't restrict one to certain times of day like the "unlimited" US calling.

Now, take into account that fact that roaming charges don't exist in Europe, charges which can be very hefty in the US.

Then, if you tack on things like the fact that nearly all EU plans include texting, incoming texting is free (like calls) which isn't the case in the US (like calls), etc. you're looking at a much more even rate, or even a better rate if used properly.



Americans want to use a cell phone --- as a cell phone. It is more important for us to actually be able to afford to make a phone call. They are also willing to pay extra premium for the best network coverage. Don't you think that it is a more mature thing to do?

Again, I don't think Europeans (even those in the countries you name) sacrifice network coverage nor cost. The European plans suit the European lifestyle better. Many people in Europe only have a mobile.

The limited SMS and paid incoming calls in the States is something completely absurd to mobile users in Europe. I don't think even a tenth of Europeans you polled would trade their plans for US plans...

eastcoastsurfer
Dec 6, 2007, 12:36 PM
If there is price gouging for the iphone in Europe --- then it's the European carriers that are at fault, nothing to do with Apple.

What the carriers are doing is probably passing along the added Apple cut/cost to the consumer. What I would do is make sure the consumer knows that yes you just paid $400 or whatever for an iphone, and now you're going to pay for service and you're going to pay another $5-$10 to Apple each month for a phone you supposedly already bought.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 12:42 PM
Now, take into account the free incoming calls that don't restrict one to certain times of day like the "unlimited" US calling.

Now, take into account that fact that roaming charges don't exist in Europe, charges which can be very hefty in the US.

The limited SMS and paid incoming calls in the States is something completely absurd to mobile users in Europe. I don't think even a tenth of Europeans you polled would trade their plans for US plans...

It wouldn't matter because most people get unlimited m2m as well in addition to unlimited nights and weekends.

We don't need roaming in the US --- it's big national carriers with coverage of 300 million people.

When Europeans actually live in the US for a while and began to have our usage patterns --- quite a few of them have expressed on hofo their preference to the American method of payment.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 12:44 PM
What the carriers are doing is probably passing along the added Apple cut/cost to the consumer. What I would do is make sure the consumer knows that yes you just paid $400 or whatever for an iphone, and now you're going to pay for service and you're going to pay another $5-$10 to Apple each month for a phone you supposedly already bought.

The carriers don't have to say yes to Apple's demands. Verizon Wireless didn't.

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 12:45 PM
I don't really follow the american way of thinking about the government, but here in Europe the government is there to help it's people.
If anything, it will increase the money you make because the consumer can do more with your product. If Apple would just sell the iPhones without binding it to a specific contract or dealer, people that use other networks would have a reason less not to buy the product. And the government doesn't step in at the end to tell you that what you've done isn't allowed. No, in Europe before a company starts a project it does a little thing called research.We have patents here in Europe. Your analogy doesn't really make sense. It's more like this: McDonalds creates a Big Mac but will only allow McDonalds to sell it (iPhone in USA). If McDonalds would allow Burger King to also sell it's Big Macs (iPhone like it's supposed to be in Europe) then they would sell more of them. And as it's still their Big Macs, they earn more money too. It's not like the dealer selling the iPhone gets the money for it, it's still an Apple product. I don't really understand why Apple would restrict the iPhone to a single dealer. I really don't get it, that's just bad business.The only companies that do that are the ones that sell the iPhone with the contracts. I remember when Apple first wanted to release the iPhone here. They went to the dealers and said: "congratulations, you can sell the iPhone with contract exclusively but you have to change this and this and this in your servers". They refused (it was mentioned on this site too).You're like a stereotype american. You seem to fear the government and don't want in involved in anything, yet you've got many things under government control.That's just Apple trying to lure people to the iPhones with contracts.Cars, for instance.My mobile phone costs me 10 euro per month on average, I'd like to see an iPhone plan that will cost me only 10 euro per month.Europeans want freedom. It is more important to us than the protection of giant companies or technological advancement. And really, we do quite well with or giant sacrifice of technology, don't you think.

Just responding to comment made by macbelgium that are related to my post.

1. It would be great if Apple sold phone to every carrier, but they don't, it's their phone, they made it let them sell it how they want, why is that so hard for you? Don't you have respect for other people things?. And about research maybe a European company should step up & do some research on how to make a phone that's better than the iPhone that American's made that you want so much.

2. About fearing the gov & not getting involved: You don't know me, how can you say that? I do get involved to limit government not enable it with more power. BTW I don't fear the gov, I just think it's lazy, corrupt & inefficient.

3. Japan crushing U.S in the car market: Yes Japan is doing well here but crushing, I don't think so. The only reason the U.S auto maker is not doing as well or their market is shrinking is the UAW, most Japanese auto makers do not have to deal with the UAW, it makes them more efficient, this has nothing to do with the government. Get rid of union labor & the U.S auto maker will have a level playing field. Anyway Sony "Japanese company" came to IBM "American tech company" to develop their cell processor, which is one of the most advanced processors.

Buran
Dec 6, 2007, 12:46 PM
While there are some legitimate use for SMS --- like avoiding someone's call, or texting people while in class

Or if you're hard of hearing, like I am. Or if you're in a noisy place. Or both (that is a nasty combination). I use SMS a lot as a result.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 12:47 PM
The carriers don't have to say yes to Apple's demands. Verizon Wireless didn't.

Why would the carriers say no when they can just pass along the costs, as the poster said...?

takao
Dec 6, 2007, 12:52 PM
Amercians can also point out some MVNO plans from 7-Eleven that are both very cheap and have prepaid balance that don't expire for like a year.

But if you want a fair comparison, then compare the regular price contract plans on the largest carriers for US, UK, France and Germany.


my standard GSM tariff is:
5 euro a month
1000 free text (only outgoing)
5 cent per minute in all networks no matter mobile or line (only outgoing)
no data included but i think HSDPA is costing 15-20 (3-10GB data transfer) if you are already a customer

normally i'm around 7 euro per month for my bill

didn't pay anything for the phone i got.. sony erricson K-something

edit:
prepaid is 6.9 cents per minute in all networks (only outgoing of course)
and 3 cents per txt message

Matti
Dec 6, 2007, 12:57 PM
They are also willing to pay extra premium for the best network coverage. Don't you think that it is a more mature thing to do?

Best network coverage? In which continent do you see adverstisement for "least dropped calls". Ever seen european film where main character loses his phone connection at crucial moment? In which continent do you lose 3G coverage when you walk 10 feet past major metropolitan area (or sometimes even inside them)? Yesterday I took 200km train ride and never lost 3G connection on the way. Unlimited 3G data for 14 euros is sweet.



But if you want a fair comparison, then compare the regular price contract plans on the largest carriers for US, UK, France and Germany.


Why limit the comparison to those 3 countries? Convient for your argument? Thay aren't even the richest nations in Europe, altough you claim so.

MBP15C2D4GBLED
Dec 6, 2007, 01:11 PM
I just wanted to put in my 2 cents here...

The primary argument here seems to be:

1) I want a iPhone
2) I don't want a contract
3) I want my government to make Apple give me a non-contract unlocked phone at the contract price.

A number people are declaring that its their god-given right to a unlocked iPhone.

However, I would argue that it is not. You don't *need* a iphone, you want a iphone. In a good free market, you pony up what is requested to get the goods and services you want in exchange. You don't get a heavyweight entity, such as your government, to go beat the merchant until he has to give you the goods at the price you request.

Finally, the last few posts have gone into attacking 3G in America. 3G over GSM networks does in fact die at a few miles out of a metro area. Most people in America who do not live in metro areas, buy CDMA technology phones, and our phones work far outside of the metro areas.

Just because your governments beat up your cell providers to get GSM as a standard in your areas, doesn't mean our government did the same to our carriers. And all in all, it has worked out for us the best. We get new technology faster, CDMA works over larger areas at less cost to the providers, and we have internet just about everywhere, even in a geologically spartan place as the United States of America.

So sorry, get over yourselves.

eastcoastsurfer
Dec 6, 2007, 01:13 PM
The carriers don't have to say yes to Apple's demands. Verizon Wireless didn't.

You're right, and they are also free to pass along the Apple tax to the customer, which is what it sounds like they are doing (with these European plans). If I was the carrier I would just make it clear that our plans are the same price they have always been, but Apple wants an additional cut from you each month.

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 01:31 PM
The problem is that the European approach is totally useless --- like the so-called punishing Microsoft by forcing them to sell a version of windows xp without the media player.

Look at the european launch of the iphone --- all the layers and layers of government interference and they ended up with a more expensive phone and more expensive phone plans.

Oh god here you go again with facts and figures with no sources. Keep in mind that the EU has nothing to do with French mobile unlocking laws so please keep your rabid anti-Europeanism to a minimum.

macbelgium
Dec 6, 2007, 01:32 PM
1. It would be great if Apple sold phone to every carrier, but they don't, it's their phone, they made it let them sell it how they want, why is that so hard for you? Don't you have respect for other people things?. And about research maybe a European company should step up & do some research on how to make a phone that's better than the iPhone that American's made that you want so much.
Why is that so hard for us? Because it's bad for us, pretty simple really. We want the freedom to choose our phone and provider. And I wouldn't exactly go out and say that the iPhone is the best phone that exists, I don't think that is true. Either way I'm not the kind of person jumping to get one, I have a phone that does everything it needs to do perfectly: make phone calls and use SMS.

I'm just trying to explain why Europe is "making such a big deal" out of this.3. Japan crushing U.S in the car market: Yes Japan is doing well here but crushing, I don't think so. The only reason the U.S auto maker is not doing as well or their market is shrinking is the UAW, most Japanese auto makers do not have to deal with the UAW, it makes them more efficient, this has nothing to do with the government. Get rid of union labor & the U.S auto maker will have a level playing field. Anyway Sony "Japanese company" came to IBM "American tech company" to develop their cell processor, which is one of the most advanced processors.
Another example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfaAiujrX_Y.

al256
Dec 6, 2007, 01:41 PM
What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?

Our laws are fine here, if two company's want to work together to make a product they should be able to without the government coming in and telling them who they can sell to or how they can sell their product.

Oh yeah? If it weren't for the government stepping up everyone here in the US would have to get a new number each time they changed their cell phone company. So yeah.. I do want the government to step up.

al256
Dec 6, 2007, 01:44 PM
Careful what you wish for. :) While in some ways consumers really are better off here, in other ways we just get the shaft, all in the name of 'fairness.' In my opinion, it's really more a case of having laws brought about by a different mindset than it is a case of being better or more progressive...



...however, the US government tells lots and lots of Americans how to run their businesses. It's a different style of control, but the idea of the US market as a haven of free enterprise is a joke. To my knowledge, the closest thing to a free market these days is probably found in the Baltic states...if I had a lot of venture capital I'd be learning Estonian :cool:.



Now that right thar is just good 'ol fashuned redneck thinkin': as if great products have never been invented outside the US. As if the US is even the world leader in consumer product innovation...as if, to consider just one relevant example, cell phone technology wasn't pioneered in Japan and Europe (Scandinavia in particular). Japan has one of the most protected economies in the world, and it's not stopping them from crushing the US in tech development. I go there regularly and HOLY SCHNIKIES they have cool toys! Always 2-3 years before I see them in the US. Even here in the alleged socialist paradise of France there are things invented here that you can't yet buy in the US...but that does, of course, go the other way too, depending on the type of product. I'm not saying anyone is better than anyone else; I'm just pointing out that innovative products are just as often determined by cultural priorities and weird geo-political goings-on as by (alleged) economic conditions.



This is a weird thing, I agree; I'm not in the market, but I've been to Orange stores just to see what's up with the iPhone and the option to buy one totally unlocked isn't marked anywhere, and in my experience most French consumers aren't the type to go asking for things not on display. Every single non-affiliated portable-selling store in Lyon, however, has giant signs all over the place advertising unlocked iPhones for suspiciously low prices. Don't know what that's all about.

Thank you for your thoughtful insights. :)

MacCurry
Dec 6, 2007, 01:46 PM
Let me get this straight. As an American I go to France and buy one of these unlocked iPhones? As US T-Mobile customer all I would have to do is drop in my sim card and I'm good to go.

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 01:50 PM
MacCurry - No. The French unlocked model requires a French iTunes account to unlock it once home (thus you need a French address/billing method). But if you had such a French iTunes account and did unlock the phone via iTunes then yes a T-Mobile card from the US would then work, or any other SIM.

To samab:
Where is it guaranteed, in writing, from AT&T that they will unlock these phones (assuming the phone lasts until the end of the contract)? The German and French unlocks (and all new 1.1.2 out of box phones) have a new boot loader version. It is said that the new boot loader is what allows the Apple sanctioned unlocks via iTunes. How could the old AT&T phones with the old boot loader do such a thing? Upgrading the boot loader is very risky and can easily brick phones whether they've been 'hacked' or not. It's not like a firmware update at all. So where is this statement that AT&T will grace you with this unlock after such and such time without charge for your iPhone?

Also I would like to see a authority for your comments regarding o2 uk stating that they will never unlock the phone and also a source for your statement that UK law doesn't allow unlocks?

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 02:05 PM
Why is that so hard for us? Because it's bad for us, pretty simple really. We want the freedom to choose our phone and provider. And I wouldn't exactly go out and say that the iPhone is the best phone that exists, I don't think that is true. Either way I'm not the kind of person jumping to get one, I have a phone that does everything it needs to do perfectly: make phone calls and use SMS.

I'm just trying to explain why Europe is "making such a big deal" out of this.
Another example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfaAiujrX_Y.

The freedom you want is not free, it hurts the cell carrier & the cell phone maker.

Not sure why you posted it but Robot is cool, more power to them..

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 02:10 PM
Oh yeah? If it weren't for the government stepping up everyone here in the US would have to get a new number each time they changed their cell phone company. So yeah.. I do want the government to step up.

You have a good point, I have less of a problem with this, it seems it hurts no one. You are already leaving the company & their not going to get your money anyway so no really gets hurt.

macbelgium
Dec 6, 2007, 02:10 PM
The freedom you want is not free, it hurts the cell carrier & the cell phone maker.
Now this I don't understand: how on earth does that freedom hurt Apple? It means more buyers which means more profit, no? The carrier will loose some business, yes. And they will have to actually create a plan that the consumer wants instead of a plan that the consumer has to take (like now in the USA) in order to raise profit. Which is the way it should be.Not sure why you posted it but Robot is cool, more power to them..
Just an example of technology where Japan beats the USA any day.

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 02:22 PM
Now this I don't understand: how on earth does that freedom hurt Apple? It means more buyers which means more profit, no? The carrier will loose some business, yes. And they will have to actually create a plan that the consumer wants instead of a plan that the consumer has to take (like now in the USA) in order to raise profit. Which is the way it should be.
Just an example of technology where Japan beats the USA any day.

Why is it then that Apple wants to lock their phones? You think they just don't want to sell than many?

"Japan beats the USA any day" This is one example, give me a break. I'm sure there is a long list of things that the USA is more advanced then Japan...So they invent a robot, that makes them king of tech?

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 02:23 PM
Where is it guaranteed, in writing, from AT&T that they will unlock these phones (assuming the phone lasts until the end of the contract)?

Also I would like to see a authority for your comments regarding o2 uk stating that they will never unlock the phone and also a source for your statement that UK law doesn't allow unlocks?

It is not guaranteed in writing, but senior executives at AT&T have stated publicly that they will unlock the iphone at the end of contract.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2007-08-22-cellphones-abroad_N.htm?csp=34

With regard to O2, it's in their terms and conditions that the iphone is useless without the continue usage of the iphone service plan --- even after your initial 18 month contract is expired.

http://www.o2.co.uk/termsconditions/iphone

You're right, and they are also free to pass along the Apple tax to the customer, which is what it sounds like they are doing (with these European plans). If I was the carrier I would just make it clear that our plans are the same price they have always been, but Apple wants an additional cut from you each month.

But the carriers didn't have to pass the cost to their own subscribers. The iphone plan in the US is nothing but regular priced voice plan plus regular priced data plan --- AT&T ate the additional cost all by themselves.

Oh god here you go again with facts and figures with no sources. Keep in mind that the EU has nothing to do with French mobile unlocking laws so please keep your rabid anti-Europeanism to a minimum.

I think it's more like anti-Americanism instead of anti-Europeanism. All the talks have been that the European system is a paradise --- simlocking laws, simfree handsets vs. US system is hell (simlocked handsets).

You know what? It ain't that bad in the US.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 02:50 PM
The freedom you want is not free, it hurts the cell carrier & the cell phone maker.

It doesn't hurt the cell carrier, it forces them to have a more competitive network and pricing structure, the very things you seem to argue that the EU laws prevent.

It also doesn't hurt the cell phone maker, they would sell far more phones if everyone could buy it and not just people on a certain network.


Why is it then that Apple wants to lock their phones? You think they just don't want to sell than many?

Yes, they would rather sell less phones and take a cut of the profits from their partnership with an exclusive carrier than to sell more phones. That's a guaranteed income stream. It looks better in annual reports.

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 02:50 PM
I think it's more like anti-Americanism instead of anti-Europeanism. All the talks have been that the European system is a paradise --- simlocking laws, simfree handsets vs. US system is hell (simlocked handsets).

You know what? It ain't that bad in the US.

Nor is it that bad here. So who ****ing cares either way? The term 'European system' is the issue here however, since this is France we're speaking of and not Europe as a whole. Also, every carrier in the world offers free handsets or discounts with contracts, so again, who ****ing cares?

However I do want to mention in my opinion that a promise from someone at AT&T to unlock the phone years down the road when the phone is practically out of date is not much of something to cheer about. Regardless the fact is in the US it's not too big of a deal to be able to choose your carrier because in all actuality how often do you really leave the country? Unless you live in Detroit and work in Ontario or whatever how often do you worry over international rates?

In Europe most of the countries are smaller than most US states. The EU is not one country so we get hit with international rates very regularly. Thus it's much more convenient to have the unlock option and it makes sense why some countries like France have favourable unlock laws. I say favourable because otherwise you'd be stuck paying international fees as opposed to simply swapping the SIM to a low rate pay and go carrier while at work, or travelling, etc (in another country). Thus you can't compare the US in this way at all.

This discussion really shouldn't be we're better than you and vice versa as circumstances are different.

One last thing too (not trying to create another wave) but those links you gave don't really support what you said 100%. The AT&T article quotes an executive saying that after the contract is up for a phone we'll gladly unlock it. He didn't say that when the contract is up for the iPhone we'll gladly unlock it. Secondly the O2 contracts do say you cannot unlock or it makes it an iPod touch and it does say 18 months, but it doesn't specifically state that after 18 months you must continue with them for it to work. Thus unless there's something more concrete in both examples what you're stating is just an assumption, especially in regards to AT&T as it was a general comment made which didn't appear to be specifically aimed at the iPhone. Also it doesn't answer how they could unlock the phone with older boot loaders since there is a new boot loader appearing on the newer iPhone's which made the sanctioned Apple unlock via iTunes possible.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:00 PM
However I do want to mention in my opinion that a promise from someone at AT&T to unlock the phone years down the road when the phone is practically out of date is not much of something to cheer about.

In Europe most of the countries are smaller than most US states. The EU is not one country so we get hit with international rates very regularly. Thus it's much more convenient to have the unlock option and it makes sense why some countries like France have favourable unlock laws. I say favourable because otherwise you'd be stuck paying international fees as opposed to simply swapping the SIM to a low rate pay and go carrier while at work, or travelling, etc (in another country). Thus you can't compare the US in this way at all.

Remember AT&T volunteered to do this --- all by their own, without any simlocking laws, and without any lawsuits. T-Mobile Germany promised to give out unlocking codes at the end of the contract --- only after Vodafone managed to get a temporary injunction. You have to give credit where credit is due.

Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, and Telefonica operates in most of the European countries. If you are a Vodafone UK customer and got killed with international fees when you are roaming on Vodafone Germany --- that's Vodafone gouging you.

Whiteapple
Dec 6, 2007, 03:03 PM
For those interested, here's the "iPhone purchase exeperience" in France :

My mother wanted to buy an iPhone, and she didn't want to buy it with a contract, but SIM-Free (€ 649 btw!)

The sales rep at Orange really began being rude and stuff, since she wasnt going for the € 49/ month contract. The guy was like real rude, wouldnt explain her how to insert the SIM card, and he even checked his computer where the guys received a internal memo entitled "what to do when the customer does not choose a contract?" The answers where more or less "try to convince the customers, by any means necessary"

What the Hell ? :mad:

I was so pissed when she told me that, I mean, that's so bloody rude, insulting and disrespectful towards a lady !

Hope it's not like this for you guys over there (oh no, you people have to get the contract as well).

Stella
Dec 6, 2007, 03:03 PM
Yes it does. However, the example was meant to be *generic*. If it wasn't for government regulation, you'd be getting a lot more price controlling from businesses to keep prices higher and thus screw over consumers.

This is one example of how government 'interference' is good.

It is only price collusion when different competitors in the same industry decide not to compete in price.

Apple and the carriers are not competitors --- they are business partners, so price collusion has nothing to do with it.

Canadians face much higher mobile service plans because the whole industry has only 3 players (Fido is owned by Rogers). That is the same number of national carriers in France --- too little competition means high prices.



I think price controls on drugs takes away some incentive for the drug company's to create more drugs. If there is not enough profit in it for them they won't do it.

I'm glad you like being screwed over. I find it amusing how people can make excuses to justify businesses screwing over its consumers. There's a difference between a healthy profit and excessive profits.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:08 PM
Yes it does. However, the example was meant to be *generic*. If it wasn't for government regulation, you'd be getting a lot more price controlling from businesses to keep prices higher and thus screw over consumers.

Some McDonald's restaurants are owned by the corporate giant themselves, other McDonald's restaurants are owned by individual franchisees. They all agree to sell the Big Mac for $1.99.

That's not price collusion --- they are just setting a standard price for a Big Mac.

Samething with the iphone.

Stella
Dec 6, 2007, 03:10 PM
Some McDonald's restaurants are owned by the corporate giant themselves, other McDonald's restaurants are owned by individual franchisees. They all agree to sell the Big Mac for $1.99.

That's not price collusion --- they are just setting a standard price for a Big Mac.

Samething with the iphone.

You miss my point completely.

P.S in your MacDonalds example I know it isn't price collusion, since its the same company.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:11 PM
I was so pissed when she told me that, I mean, that's so bloody rude, insulting and disrespectful towards a lady !

They are poorly paid frontline workers who probably work for a commission fee.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:15 PM
You miss my point completely.

P.S in your MacDonalds example I know it isn't price collusion, since its the same company. This was not my point in any way shape, or form.

No, they are not the same company. The McDonald's franchisee is 437954 Ontario Inc. The franchisor is McDonald's Canada. And the price of a Big Mac is governed by the franchisee agreement.

BTW, I am from Toronto as well.

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 03:20 PM
Some McDonald's restaurants are owned by the corporate giant themselves, other McDonald's restaurants are owned by individual franchisees. They all agree to sell the Big Mac for $1.99.

That's not price collusion --- they are just setting a standard price for a Big Mac.

Samething with the iphone.

Maybe I've just had strange experiences but I've seen radically different pricing of menu items from one McDonald's to the other (as well as with other chains).


They are poorly paid frontline workers who probably work for a commission fee.

Way to lose that commission on a phone sale, then...

Stella
Dec 6, 2007, 03:21 PM
No, they are not the same company. The McDonald's franchisee is 437954 Ontario Inc. The franchisor is McDonald's Canada. And the price of a Big Mac is governed by the franchisee agreement.

BTW, I am from Toronto as well.

In the past several months, I actually saw a MacDonalds store that *closed* down! That was about the first I've seen closing.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:25 PM
Way to lose that commission on a phone sale, then...

One of the main reasons why Verizon said no to the iphone is the distribution model --- Apple won't let independent Verizon franchisee agents selling the iphone.

Literally 3 days before the iphone launch in the US, AT&T employees were wondering out loud if they are going to get paid with the iphone activation at home.

http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1187868

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 03:26 PM
Remember AT&T volunteered to do this --- all by their own, without any simlocking laws, and without any lawsuits. T-Mobile Germany promised to give out unlocking codes at the end of the contract --- only after Vodafone managed to get a temporary injunction. You have to give credit where credit is due.

Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, and Telefonica operates in most of the European countries. If you are a Vodafone UK customer and got killed with international fees when you are roaming on Vodafone Germany --- that's Vodafone gouging you.

Well that's how it is. They are different countries. The EU is not one country. You pay international rates if you leave the country. The circumstances are clearly different and comparing the two is therefore irrelevant.

Further from what I've seen AT&T volunteered nothing without proof. A generalised statement not specifying the iPhone is not proof. And again, even offering to unlock something when it's likely to be out of date is not a huge favour.

So what's this argument about really? You can get an unlocked iPhone in France and pay more, which again makes since due to the geography of Europe and you can do it NOW (and pay more, but again if you travel often or work in another country it's worth it). So what is the issue?

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:35 PM
Well that's how it is. They are different countries. The EU is not one country. You pay international rates if you leave the country. The circumstances are clearly different and comparing the two is therefore irrelevant.

Further from what I've seen AT&T volunteered nothing without proof. A generalised statement not specifying the iPhone is not proof. And again, even offering to unlock something when it's likely to be out of date is not a huge favour.

So all the talk about Europe being a single market is just crap.

Both AT&T (iphone being the exception) and T-Mobile USA have always provided unlocking codes for free after 90 days of purchase. It was done without any simlocking laws in the US. AT&T was very specific about their public statements on the iphone unlocking at the end of contract.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:40 PM
So what's this argument about really? You can get an unlocked iPhone in France and pay more, which again makes since due to the geography of Europe and you can do it NOW (and pay more, but again if you travel often or work in another country it's worth it). So what is the issue?

The issue is that the French laws are useless. Orange could have charged 2000 euro for the unlocked iphone. They didn't, but they could have.

Only 1500 iphones were sold in France without any contract --- 5% out of 30000 iphones sold.

The issue becomes --- geeks on tech forums are the 5%, while the other 95% suffered with a more expensive simlocked iphone and a more expensive iphone contract plan.

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 03:42 PM
So all the talk about Europe being a single market is just crap.

Both AT&T (iphone being the exception) and T-Mobile USA have always provided unlocking codes for free after 90 days of purchase. It was done without any simlocking laws in the US. AT&T was very specific about their public statements on the iphone unlocking at the end of contract.

No one ever said that the mobile phone market is within that scope (yet). Do you really believe the EU is a federal government that controls the water, gas, electric, phones, etc in every single member state? Wikipedia would be a good start if so.

I don't care what AT&T and T-Mobile does for other phones, that is not the argument. The iPhone is unique in its lock method since most other phones can be unlocked without issue by entering in a code via the dial pad. I can walk down the road and every 3 metres find someone to unlock a phone (except an iPhone). Also most phones are sold UNLOCKED here anyhow, thus there's no reason to ask your carrier for it. I haven't seen any affirmative statement stating AT&T will do this for the iPhone, nor have you provided one. Further it may not be possible as evidenced with the fact of the new boot loader found on phones actually capable of being unlocked via iTunes by Apple, something I mentioned twice already.

Again what's the argument?

Unspeaked
Dec 6, 2007, 03:44 PM
So all the talk about Europe being a single market is just crap.

Nothing will ever be perfectly cohesive.

Even in the US, there are different tax rates, laws and local regulation from state to state; sometimes county to county.

If you think occasional roaming charges negate the idea of a single market, you're not looking at the larger picture.


Both AT&T (iphone being the exception) and T-Mobile USA have always provided unlocking codes for free after 90 days of purchase. It was done without any simlocking laws in the US. AT&T was very specific about their public statements on the iphone unlocking at the end of contract.

Honestly, your reference to the comment earlier in this thread and the link that you provided a short while later which was simply a small quote in a much larger article about unlocking in general is the first I'd ever heard about AT&T saying they'd unlock the iPhone.

And the very fact that AT&T disregarded their own 90 day policy with the iPhone shows that their word probably isn't the greatest.

Beefeater
Dec 6, 2007, 03:47 PM
Yes it does. However, the example was meant to be *generic*. If it wasn't for government regulation, you'd be getting a lot more price controlling from businesses to keep prices higher and thus screw over consumers.

This is one example of how government 'interference' is good.





I'm glad you like being screwed over. I find it amusing how people can make excuses to justify businesses screwing over its consumers. There's a difference between a healthy profit and excessive profits.

I think businesses that screw people over don't survive in the end & excessive profits opens the door for other company's to offer something in its place.

So if Apple is truly wrong they will pay the price in the long run.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:47 PM
I don't care what AT&T and T-Mobile does for other phones, that is not the argument. The iPhone is unique in its lock method since most other phones can be unlocked without issue by entering in a code via the dial pad. I can walk down the road and every 3 metres find someone to unlock a phone (except an iPhone). Also most phones are sold UNLOCKED here anyhow, thus there's no reason to ask your carrier for it. I haven't seen any affirmative statement stating AT&T will do this for the iPhone, nor have you provided one. Further it may not be possible as evidenced with the fact of the new boot loader found on phones actually capable of being unlocked via iTunes by Apple, something I mentioned twice already.

There is no reason to doubt AT&T since they have always provide unlocking codes for free --- without any government requirements.

As with the boot loader, if they can't do it by itunes --- they can do it manually by sending the iphone back to AT&T.

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 03:48 PM
The issue is that the French laws are useless. Orange could have charged 2000 euro for the unlocked iphone. They didn't, but they could have.

Only 1500 iphones were sold in France without any contract --- 5% out of 30000 iphones sold.

The issue becomes --- geeks on tech forums are the 5%, while the other 95% suffered with a more expensive simlocked iphone and a more expensive iphone contract plan.

Can you read the title of this thread? It says 20%. Regardless of the number how is the law useless, because you say so? Did you forget everything I said about geography and international rates? Further everything is more expensive. The cost of living is higher. If we can deal with it you should be able to as well since you don't live here. Just end this silly thread already, it's obvious someone doesn't like things across the ocean, so do us a favour and stay put!

nja247
Dec 6, 2007, 03:52 PM
There is no reason to doubt AT&T since they have always provide unlocking codes for free --- without any government requirements.

As with the boot loader, if they can't do it by itunes --- they can do it manually by sending the iphone back to AT&T.

Again, the iPhone is completely different when it comes to unlocking. They (AT&T) usually unlock after 90 days, so what is stopping them? Likely the fact that they aren't going to do it. Until I see an authoritative statement from AT&T promising to give an unlock at the end of the contract (once the third or fourth model of the iPhone has already launched anyhow) then what you're saying is all based on assumptions which don't cut it with me. Further who cares about the government in this instance? Again refer to the fact about European geography and why an unlock law makes more sense compared to the vast USA. Lastly who cares if unlock codes are usually free from AT&T? You don't need unlock codes when phones usually come unlocked as in Europe. All these points made, however no relevance at all.

I'm out until we meet again in another thread. If you want to continue making assumptions and irrelevant points then more power to you. However I do hope to discover one day what a European has done to piss you off so badly, lol.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 03:59 PM
Again, the iPhone is completely different when it comes to unlocking. They usually do it after 90 days, so what is stopping them? Likely the fact that they aren't going to do it. Until I see an authoritative statement from AT&T promising to give an unlock at the end of the contract (once the third or fourth model of the iPhone has already launched anyhow) then what you're saying is all based on assumptions which don't cut it with me. Further who cares about the government in this instance? Again refer to the fact about European geography and why an unlock law makes more sense compared to the vast USA.

I'm out until we meet again in another thread. If you want to continue making assumptions and irrelevant points then more power to you. However I do hope to discover one day what a European has done to piss you off so badly, lol.

AT&T is under no legal obligations to unlock your phone --- but they do it anyway. They are under no legal obligations to promise you an unlocking code for the iphone at the end of the contract --- but they do it anyway. A senior VP from AT&T talking about it in a national newspaper is authoritative enough. This isn't some lowly ranked 25 year old PR person talking about it in a web interview with a mobile phone website.

I think it's the other way around, what has AT&T done to piss you off. They made a promise voluntarily. Somehow you think that there is some hidden agenda to screw you over.

You can go and ask whether T-Mobile Germany is going to put it in writing about their promise to provide the unlocking codes at the end of the contract.

samab
Dec 6, 2007, 04:02 PM
Can you read the title of this thread? It says 20%. Regardless of the number how is the law useless, because you say so? Did you forget everything I said about geography and international rates? Further everything is more expensive. The cost of living is higher. If we can deal with it you should be able to as well since you don't live here. Just end this silly thread already, it's obvious someone doesn't like things across the ocean, so do us a favour and stay put!

Read the original news articles in French --- they don't say 20%.

What they said was 80% signed up with a "iphone specific" plan.

http://www.20minutes.fr/article/198973/High-Tech-30-000-iPhone-vendus-en-cinq-jours.php

Only 1500 iphones were sold without any contract in France --- 5% out of 30000 iphones sold.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120500914.html

In France, there is a third option --- buy the iphone for 549 euro and keep your ordinary "non iphone specific" Orange plan. This is the missing 15%.

megfilmworks
Dec 6, 2007, 08:25 PM
Limit freedom for who, greedy corporations or customers?

You mean
"greedy corporations or greedy customers?"

I don't really care. But I do care about big brother butting in to my private business.

shikimo
Dec 7, 2007, 01:10 AM
"Redneck thinking" that's funny... Educate me? How is Japan crushing the US in tech development?

Better question is how aren't they? Robotics, home appliances, transport technology (although the tech used in the Shinkansen is mostly French :cool:), waste removal and disposal, package delivery and tracking, automobiles and of course cell phones and video games, just for starters. And don't forget that they have the coolest toilets in the whole world...I spend a couple months of each year in Japan and the two things that blow me away the most are 1) how FAST everything changes, and 2) how the same thing that is new there will be new within a period or months or years in the US and Europe.

I'm not at all one of those westerners who thinks Japan is the coolest place on earth, not at all: they've got their own set of serious troubles. But you have to admit they've got the jump on everyone else when it comes to tech innovations.

I think what it boils down to is YOU are not Apple YOU have no say so in the matter, if you don't like it don't buy the iphone, accept it & quit crying about it. I can't get the iphone because I'm sign a contract with T-Mobile & T-Mobile did not work out a deal with Apple in the U.S & I'm fine with it. Not crying here....Also I don't depend on the government to get the things I want I get them myself....

Whoa, down boy! Why the bold? Did I insult your mother??

Yes, you are correct that I am not Apple...and I am very proud of you for not depending on your government for getting things you want...but since all of this has nothing to do with my post I think I will just pretend it didn't happen and move on.

shikimo
Dec 7, 2007, 01:56 AM
Hmm... my guess is the average costumer doesn't know what "unlocked" means. They just see "399 €", "iPhone", "forfait" (i.w.contract)

Or the french translation of "unlocked" is confusing. You wouldn't buy an "unlocked" car that has no locks, would you? :p

Yeah...I wonder about this word 'debloquer' and its use in cellphone jargon sometimes. The only other place I've heard it is when the cops come in and forcibly remove hippies from French universities:).


With respect to getting a fair comparison between the 2 sides of the Atlantic --- this is as close as you can get for a fair comparison.

I think this is a hopeless venture from the start. As someone who has lived full-time in both the US and French economies for many years, I think it's absolutely impossible to compare hard numbers; the way that people make, spend and think about money are just too different. In the same sense, the way people think about communication is also different, which has a lot to do with why phone/internet/tv services work so differently in the two countries.

No I would not like government intervention for lower prices in the way Canada does it, I like our way better, that's not to say we can't do better...

I think price controls on drugs takes away some incentive for the drug company's to create more drugs. If there is not enough profit in it for them they won't do it.

C'mon, no one defends the US healthcare system anymore. It stinks, in every way. Even hard core conservatives acknowledge it's one of America's biggest flaws. In fact, I think it's the only issue upon which I'm ready to say, straight-up and without context, that it works much better in France than in America...and it's far from perfect here.

Nor is it that bad here. So who ****ing cares either way? The term 'European system' is the issue here however, since this is France we're speaking of and not Europe as a whole. Also, every carrier in the world offers free handsets or discounts with contracts, so again, who ****ing cares?

Amen. I hate it when Americans talk about the 'European system' or 'European socialism,' as if those terms mean anything at all. Europe is big and complicated and much more diverse than people seem to think; even within the Schengen states, or the slightly larger Eurozone, laws and customs differ widely.

For those interested, here's the "iPhone purchase exeperience" in France :

My mother wanted to buy an iPhone, and she didn't want to buy it with a contract, but SIM-Free (€ 649 btw!)

The sales rep at Orange really began being rude and stuff, since she wasnt going for the € 49/ month contract. The guy was like real rude, wouldnt explain her how to insert the SIM card, and he even checked his computer where the guys received a internal memo entitled "what to do when the customer does not choose a contract?" The answers where more or less "try to convince the customers, by any means necessary"

What the Hell ? :mad:

I was so pissed when she told me that, I mean, that's so bloody rude, insulting and disrespectful towards a lady !

Hope it's not like this for you guys over there (oh no, you people have to get the contract as well).

That's horrible...but kinda typical for French customer service, no?? Although if she's in Savoie like you that's a little surprising...people up there are always really nice to me:).

They are poorly paid frontline workers who probably work for a commission fee.

I don't know the specifics, but probably not: my guess is a person in a job like that makes 8.47 per hour, French minimum wage based on 35 hours/wk. with a MINIMUM of 5 weeks paid annual vacation, and has no good excuse to be mean like that...but as I mentioned above, it's pretty common.

Manic Mouse
Dec 7, 2007, 02:30 AM
In France, there is a third option --- buy the iphone for 549 euro and keep your ordinary "non iphone specific" Orange plan. This is the missing 15%.

I wish this was an option in the UK.

boz0
Dec 7, 2007, 02:34 AM
The issue is that the French laws are useless. Orange could have charged 2000 euro for the unlocked iphone. They didn't, but they could have.

You fail to see the bigger picture.

France didn't create a specific law to make sure everyone could get an iPhone. That law was created to ensure no carrier could lock in a customer with an abusive contract.

And please, don't give me that crap about "if the contract is such a complete rip-off, don't buy it" (and I'm still not speaking about the iPhone here, but those overly common abusive contracts). That may be true for you, me, or even any of the tech-inclined geeks on this forum, but many people will fall for a well-pitched sale.

That law addresses the real point reasonably well. The fact that it doesn't make the unlocked iPhone cheaper is completely irrelevant.

shikimo
Dec 7, 2007, 04:25 AM
You fail to see the bigger picture.

France didn't create a specific law to make sure everyone could get an iPhone. That law was created to ensure no carrier could lock in a customer with an abusive contract.

And please, don't give me that crap about "if the contract is such a complete rip-off, don't buy it" (and I'm still not speaking about the iPhone here, but those overly common abusive contracts). That may be true for you, me, or even any of the tech-inclined geeks on this forum, but many people will fall for a well-pitched sale.

That law addresses the real point reasonably well. The fact that it doesn't make the unlocked iPhone cheaper is completely irrelevant.

I'm glad you pointed this out, as it highlights the sort of mentality difference I keep yapping about. For better or for worse--and I'm seriously not taking a side here--the French government does things designed to protect its, um, lesser-informed citizens from getting worked over by big companies that belie a completely different government/citizen relationship than we have in the US (French laws about tenant rights are the biggest example of this of which I am aware). Sometimes it backfires and sometimes it works...but this is no place for an analysis of protectionism in American and French domestic policy.

It is this fundamental view of the role of government that often lies behind French policy decisions that seem obstructive to Americans, because we grew up with the idea that the law of the retail land is, more often than not, caveat emptor.

samab
Dec 7, 2007, 10:13 AM
France didn't create a specific law to make sure everyone could get an iPhone. That law was created to ensure no carrier could lock in a customer with an abusive contract.

But the law itself doesn't achieve that at all. A french carrier can still either lock in their customers with an abusive contract (the french iphone tariff is the worst among UK, France and Germany) or as the iphone illustrates, the carrier can charge an abusive simfree handset price.

So it's a lose-lose situation. The 95% of the people who bought the iphone gets worst off with their contracts and the 5% who paid for the unlocked iphone could have paid anything (like 2000 euro).

samab
Dec 7, 2007, 10:17 AM
I wish this was an option in the UK.

There is always going to be a downside to have an extra option --- the french iphone contract is more expensive than the uk iphone contract and the french iphone contract is 24 months vs. uk iphone contract of 18 months.

boz0
Dec 10, 2007, 05:03 AM
But the law itself doesn't achieve that at all. A french carrier can still either lock in their customers with an abusive contract (the french iphone tariff is the worst among UK, France and Germany) or as the iphone illustrates, the carrier can charge an abusive simfree handset price.

I think it does its job quite well, it just wasn't tailored to deal with an iPhone-like situation.

Large international companies have been able to skirt regulations for quite some time, and Apple's just added its name to the long (and still growing) list of companies that will do so if they can get away with it. In my book, that's a good reason for governments to step in and protect their citizens.

I'm not saying Apple is seriously screwing over their customers, mind you. But in the larger picture, there's a red line somewhere between doing legitimate business and screwing over your customers, and I don't think companies should have a free rein.

samab
Dec 10, 2007, 09:20 AM
I think it does its job quite well, it just wasn't tailored to deal with an iPhone-like situation.

Large international companies have been able to skirt regulations for quite some time, and Apple's just added its name to the long (and still growing) list of companies that will do so if they can get away with it. In my book, that's a good reason for governments to step in and protect their citizens.

I'm not saying Apple is seriously screwing over their customers, mind you. But in the larger picture, there's a red line somewhere between doing legitimate business and screwing over your customers, and I don't think companies should have a free rein.

I disagree. Those European laws haven't done a single thing at all.

Europeans are getting so-called cheap phones because you got carriers facing lax public accounting laws which permit them to chase "fake" subscribers --- it's just churn. Also Europeans are getting cheap phones because VAT fraud greases the whole handset retail industry. The cheapness of the cell phone handsets have nothing to do with these European simlocking laws in question.

In particular, to have all these French simlocking laws but only allows 3 national carriers --- defeats the whole point for consumer rights and lower prices. That's penny wise and dollar stupid.

boz0
Dec 10, 2007, 09:49 AM
Europeans are getting so-called cheap phones because you got carriers facing lax public accounting laws which permit them to chase "fake" subscribers --- it's just churn. Also Europeans are getting cheap phones because VAT fraud greases the whole handset retail industry. The cheapness of the cell phone handsets have nothing to do with these European simlocking laws in question.

Do you have solid information on that? Pointers to news articles, court rulings or somesuch? What fake subscribers are you talking about?

In particular, to have all these French simlocking laws but only allows 3 national carriers --- defeats the whole point for consumer rights and lower prices. That's penny wise and dollar stupid.

There's only 3 carriers operating physical networks, but over a dozen MVNOs.

Asar
Dec 10, 2007, 09:57 AM
i really dont mind att like i thought i would. i'm pretty happy coming from nextel lol. but i guess an unlock in the US would be for the better

samab
Dec 10, 2007, 10:00 AM
Do you have solid information on that? Pointers to news articles, court rulings or somesuch? What fake subscribers are you talking about?

There's only 3 carriers operating physical networks, but over a dozen MVNOs.

When we have carriers sending out executives to say that they want "real" subscribers --- you know that there is a problem.

http://www.mobiletoday.co.uk/news.aspx?id=26638

In other countries, there are 4-5 real carriers and dozens of MVNO's.

boz0
Dec 11, 2007, 02:50 AM
When we have carriers sending out executives to say that they want "real" subscribers --- you know that there is a problem.

http://www.mobiletoday.co.uk/news.aspx?id=26638

In other countries, there are 4-5 real carriers and dozens of MVNO's.

That article is referring to Orange UK. How does that relate to the French market?

Also, even admitting for a moment that 4 is sooo much better than 3, in countries that have those 4 or 5 real carriers, how many of these cover all of the country? From what I gather, many US cities don't have that great a choice between carriers, and it gets worse for people who travel a lot (kinda like what we get in Europe when crossing borders).

The French market, like most, has some weaknesses and some strong points. I'm not saying it's much better than what you get in the US, but I doubt it is, as you keep claiming, much worse.

shikimo
Dec 11, 2007, 07:35 AM
Read the original news articles in French --- they don't say 20%.

What they said was 80% signed up with a "iphone specific" plan.

http://www.20minutes.fr/article/198973/High-Tech-30-000-iPhone-vendus-en-cinq-jours.php


It ought to be pointed out that '20 Minutes,' the free, advertiser-owned evening paper/website in/on which this story appeared, isn't too reliable and often cites weird numbers without explanation. Here, all we have is a note at the bottom that suggests some of the info came from AFP.

In any case, your observation about the falseness of 100-80=20 in this case is well-noted.

But the law itself doesn't achieve that at all. A french carrier can still either lock in their customers with an abusive contract (the french iphone tariff is the worst among UK, France and Germany) or as the iphone illustrates, the carrier can charge an abusive simfree handset price.

I'm not saying you're wrong--I don't really know--but it is worth pointing out that, in some cases, French stuff tends to be more expensive because doing business here tends to be expensive; I know from personal experience how hard it can be. French labor laws are strong, unions function in a different way from American unions and are unbelievably powerful, and it is very, very difficult to run a business at a profit...and if you do pull it off and do too well you get killed by taxes. 35 hour workweeks, 5 weeks minimum paid annual vacation and generous unemployment benefits are great, but we pay the price in many ways, and one of them is expensive goods and services, all in a market where salary growth has been virtually zero for years. Do companies hide behind this to inflate prices? Damn straight they do...but it takes a lot of research to figure out who's doing it and who's just trying to make an honest living. And then, of course, the government tries to protect the markets with price-fixing laws to stop companies from gouging in the name of high business costs...and it gets really damn complicated.

I disagree. Those European laws haven't done a single thing at all.

Europeans are getting so-called cheap phones because you got carriers facing lax public accounting laws which permit them to chase "fake" subscribers --- it's just churn. Also Europeans are getting cheap phones because VAT fraud greases the whole handset retail industry. The cheapness of the cell phone handsets have nothing to do with these European simlocking laws in question.

In particular, to have all these French simlocking laws but only allows 3 national carriers --- defeats the whole point for consumer rights and lower prices. That's penny wise and dollar stupid.

I want some links here too...again, I don't know any better, but you can't say all that and then give a link to an article that doesn't say one word about the French market :cool:.

Regarding the three 'national carriers': it ain't that simple. If you can figure out the goings-on vis-a-vis portable phones of the "Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes," please explain it to me because I don't get it. What I get so far: The physical aspect of the network, which is (I think) entirely owned by the state, are shared by all three big carriers (including the costs of maintenance) and create a network (which covers virtually all of France), which is then leased to about 30 other companies who have the legal right to buy access to it. This number grows regularly, as even grocery-store chains are in the game now. To further cloud the picture, the company that we're all talking about, Orange, is officially listed as a 'société anonyme,' which is a type of private company...but it was 'purchased' by France Telecom, a public company currently in the throes of some strange half-ass type of privatization, in 2000. I don't know what this means. In the end, I have no idea what the France Telecom portion of my taxes pays for. And then there was the whole deal with British Telecom...argh.

As confusing as this all is, I haven't seen anything suggesting that the French government has actually prevented anyone from entering the market at any level. It is very possible that the failure of Bouygues to compete with SFR and Orange in terms of market share, despite 11 years and counting of major efforts, has scared away other would-be multi-billion dollar investors...but that's just a guess.

samab
Dec 11, 2007, 01:38 PM
There are only 3 mobile licenses in France. They are trying to figure out how to auction out the 4th one.

http://www.cellular-news.com/story/27711.php

samab
Dec 11, 2007, 01:44 PM
That article is referring to Orange UK. How does that relate to the French market?

Also, even admitting for a moment that 4 is sooo much better than 3, in countries that have those 4 or 5 real carriers, how many of these cover all of the country? From what I gather, many US cities don't have that great a choice between carriers, and it gets worse for people who travel a lot (kinda like what we get in Europe when crossing borders).

Any country with a mobile penetration rate of over 100% will have the same kinds of problems as UK.

There are going to be coverage problems everywhere on earth. You might not like the carrier with the best coverage in your own city (say you want GSM variety of phones, but a CDMA carrier have better coverage in the city) --- but you have choices, which leads to lower prices. Remember that there was a time when US had 6 national carriers (it went down to 4 with mergers).

shikimo
Dec 12, 2007, 01:00 AM
There are only 3 mobile licenses in France. They are trying to figure out how to auction out the 4th one.

http://www.cellular-news.com/story/27711.php

Right on, thanks for the link...although the author has no idea how the French government works, the facts about the nature of the 3G licenses seem to check out.

So the question of increasing competition and thus potentially bringing better prices to the consumer seems to revolve around how much a fourth company will have to pay for the license and equipment and not simply whether or not there will be a fourth company, right? If Iliad or whomever is forced to pay the same fees as the others, there's no reason to think they will bring a better offer to the table than the existing companies, whose offers are virtually identical in terms of value.

samab
Dec 12, 2007, 09:08 AM
So the question of increasing competition and thus potentially bringing better prices to the consumer seems to revolve around how much a fourth company will have to pay for the license and equipment and not simply whether or not there will be a fourth company, right? If Iliad or whomever is forced to pay the same fees as the others, there's no reason to think they will bring a better offer to the table than the existing companies, whose offers are virtually identical in terms of value.

No, that's not true.

The UK 3G auction got the highest license fees in the world (£22.5 billion)--- yet they have better tariffs than quite a few countries in Europe. The French government practically gave away some of the 3G licenses for pennies --- yet they have some of the highest tariffs in Europe.

shikimo
Dec 13, 2007, 03:35 AM
No, that's not true.

The UK 3G auction got the highest license fees in the world (£22.5 billion)--- yet they have better tariffs than quite a few countries in Europe. The French government practically gave away some of the 3G licenses for pennies --- yet they have some of the highest tariffs in Europe.

According to this source and others, the big 3 here paid 4.5 billion Euros each for their 3G licenses:

http://mobilesociety.typepad.com/mobile_life/2006/10/do_cheap_3g_lic.html

Even for giant companies that is considerably more than 'pennies.' And, as the article points out, the relationship between license cost and deployment of technology is anything but clear.

The following article demonstrates a much better awareness of the complexities of pricing and market development in Europe than other articles I've read in English, even if it's a bit dated:

http://weblogs.jupiterresearch.com/analysts/husson/archives/2006/12/a_4th_3g_player.html

As I pointed out above, there are a lot of reasons why some things cost more in France, and other reasons why other things cost more in other countries. You keep trying to simplify it to one or two elements in a very complicated equation. One could ask this question of any country, depending on the product: Why are fresh fruit and vegetables so expensive in England and dirt cheap in the rest of Europe, regardless of production capacity? Why is gasoline so expensive (when adjusted for income) throughout eastern Europe, even in cases where it comes from the ground beneath their feet? Why is brand clothing so much cheaper in the US than in Europe, while insurance, dry goods and alcohol are so much cheaper here? And cigarettes...why can a guy smoke a pack a day in Japan with the some money that buys a pack a week in France and a 2 packs a month in the UK? There are complicated social, economic and geopolitical reasons for all of these things, and cell phone rates are no different.

takao
Dec 13, 2007, 03:56 AM
According to this source and others, the big 3 here paid 4.5 billion Euros each for their 3G licenses:

http://mobilesociety.typepad.com/mobile_life/2006/10/do_cheap_3g_lic.html

in germany they paid 98 billion D-Mark .. or 50 billion euro alltogether which equals 8,4 billions for each licensee (during the bidding some even went as far up as 30 billion for a bigger frequency block but then thought that they might be just as happy with less ;) )

nearly equal to the british result if you convert to "per capita" ... in total sum it was more

samab
Dec 13, 2007, 10:14 AM
According to this source and others, the big 3 here paid 4.5 billion Euros each for their 3G licenses:

http://mobilesociety.typepad.com/mobile_life/2006/10/do_cheap_3g_lic.html

That was the original price that the French government decided, but lack of interests from the carriers pushed the price down to €619 million (plus a percentage of 3G service revenue).

http://www.iht.com/articles/2001/10/17/umts_ed3_.php

But since 3G service like video calling has been a complete dud, the French carriers aren't paying much beyond the original €619 million price tag.

PS: If you read the first comment of the blog post you cited, he was immediately corrected on his errors about French licensing fees. And all the other comments that followed basically stated how uncompetitive the French mobile service market is.

The following article demonstrates a much better awareness of the complexities of pricing and market development in Europe than other articles I've read in English, even if it's a bit dated:

http://weblogs.jupiterresearch.com/analysts/husson/archives/2006/12/a_4th_3g_player.html

As France's competition authority has ruled --- there was price collusion between the French carriers. 3 national carriers = uncompetitve market, which may lead to price collusion.

That's what price collusion is --- carriers agreed illegally to not compete in price. Orange and Apple agree to set a national price for the iphone --- that's not price collusion because they aren't competitors, they are business partners.

What we have here is the French government had all its priorities reversed. Setting up all these French simlocking laws that are totally useless (Apple should hire Dr. Evil from Austin Powers to do a commercial to announce the price of the unlocked iphone is 1 million dollars, then evil laughs). Meanwhile, Paris is burning because all the carriers are colluding in price.

shikimo
Dec 13, 2007, 03:19 PM
That was the original price that the French government decided, but lack of interests from the carriers pushed the price down to €619 million (plus a percentage of 3G service revenue).

http://www.iht.com/articles/2001/10/17/umts_ed3_.php

But since 3G service like video calling has been a complete dud, the French carriers aren't paying much beyond the original €619 million price tag.

PS: If you read the first comment of the blog post you cited, he was immediately corrected on his errors about French licensing fees.

True enough: although 619 million EUR is still not 'pennies', you are right.

And all the other comments that followed basically stated how uncompetitive the French mobile service market is.

Funny, I read the same comments and thought they were rather supportive of my claim that it's difficult to compare markets for reasons that have nothing to do with simlocking laws and licensing fees. What's more, I'm not 'defending' the French market; I'm merely pointing out that the reasons for why things here are priced the way they are is often more complicated than it might look from an outside perspective.

As France's competition authority has ruled --- there was price collusion between the French carriers. 3 national carriers = uncompetitve market, which may lead to price collusion.

Tell me more...there are several French entities that might be described in English as a 'competition authority.' Which one? What ruling and when? I'm not saying you're wrong, but you have a terrible habit of posting things, being called on them and then moving on like it didn't happen.

What we have here is the French government had all its priorities reversed. Setting up all these French simlocking laws that are totally useless (Apple should hire Dr. Evil from Austin Powers to do a commercial to announce the price of the unlocked iphone is 1 million dollars, then evil laughs). Meanwhile, Paris is burning because all the carriers are colluding in price.

First, if the carriers were, as you claim, convicted of colluding in price, than they clearly aren't doing it anymore so why the present tense? Second, in what way does this represent a priorities problem, and third, why can't you admit that the situation is more complicated than there being a few laws you don't like causing cell phones to cost too much in a particular country? When it comes down to it, that's really my only point, and it's not too big of a claim.

samab
Dec 13, 2007, 04:38 PM
Tell me more...there are several French entities that might be described in English as a 'competition authority.' Which one? What ruling and when? I'm not saying you're wrong, but you have a terrible habit of posting things, being called on them and then moving on like it didn't happen.

First, if the carriers were, as you claim, convicted of colluding in price, than they clearly aren't doing it anymore so why the present tense? Second, in what way does this represent a priorities problem, and third, why can't you admit that the situation is more complicated than there being a few laws you don't like causing cell phones to cost too much in a particular country? When it comes down to it, that's really my only point, and it's not too big of a claim.

You should tell me more, not the other way around. It's the first sentence from YOUR link ---- court of appeal approved the fines imposed by the adminstrative body in charge of competition.

How would you know that the carriers don't continue this practice right now? Companies get fined and then repeat what they are doing. That's how the real world works. It's a cost of business.

It's not really complicated at all. When you have a country with 3 national carriers (all of them owned by French companies) and zero foreign competitors entering the French mobile telecom market --- that's how the price is so high.

shikimo
Dec 14, 2007, 01:40 AM
It's not really complicated at all. When you have a country with 3 national carriers (all of them owned by French companies) and zero foreign competitors entering the French mobile telecom market --- that's how the price is so high.

Since you refuse to admit that this sentence is in the article, I'll post it:

"French prices should thus be higher than the Europe average (which is the case, but to be honest it is extremely complex to establish depending on the items you take into account) and market shares should have remained largely unchanged."

That's all I'm saying.

I don't think this little argument is going anywhere, so to sum up: You think French cell phone rates are higher than other European countries solely and simply because of dimwitted simlocking laws and price collusion, while I say it's more complicated than that for the many reasons I've already posted. I don't have anything to add to that.

MikeTheC
Dec 14, 2007, 08:12 AM
Well, as the late Charles de Gaulle once said:

"Donnez-moi la liberté. Donnez-moi iPhone déverrouillé!"

samab
Dec 14, 2007, 09:30 AM
I don't think this little argument is going anywhere, so to sum up: You think French cell phone rates are higher than other European countries solely and simply because of dimwitted simlocking laws and price collusion, while I say it's more complicated than that for the many reasons I've already posted. I don't have anything to add to that.

Of course, there are going to be many, many factors that goes into competitiveness of a certain market. But what is the largest issue out of the 10 million different issues --- it is the lack of competitions (especially the lack of foreign competition) within France.

What I have been saying is about PRIORITIES --- you can help the consumers a lot more by introducing more competitions, by giving out the 4th (and maybe a 5th) mobile license --- preferrably to a foreign company.

Simlocking laws don't help much in terms of "consumer rights" if the carriers are doing price colluding. Low licensing fee don't help much in terms of "consumer rights" either because France's licensing fee is about 90% cheaper than UK's.

The world is full of complexities --- but the most effective solution to "consumer rights" is to introduce additional competition. All the other solutions are secondary.

boz0
Dec 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
The world is full of complexities --- but the most effective solution to "consumer rights" is to introduce additional competition. All the other solutions are secondary.

This may be true - if you think that liberalism is the best thing for consumers. I'll simply accept this premise, such a debate being a tad bit out of this forum's scope.

Now, when introducing additional competition is not feasible, or at least when a government just can't make it happen by itself, regulation is a better alternative than just letting the situation rot. I prefer picking the second best solution to not doing anything at all.

samab
Dec 14, 2007, 12:44 PM
Now, when introducing additional competition is not feasible, or at least when a government just can't make it happen by itself, regulation is a better alternative than just letting the situation rot. I prefer picking the second best solution to not doing anything at all.

Good in theory, but rarely happens like you intended in real life.

If introducing additional competition is possible (like France with only 3 carriers and all 3 carriers are owned by big French conglomerates), but the government is unwilling to introduce additional competition --- then the war is already lost. (I am a Canadian --- Canada has only 3 national carriers and Canada doesn't allow foreign ownership of Canadian telecom companies --- so we are pretty much screwed like the French.)

The war is lost because the big conglomerates with their lobbying have already "bought" the politicians --- and all the other secondary solutions are going to be "all fluff and no substance".

All the European simlocking laws look good on paper, but they will do almost next to nothing to consumer rights. Apple can't do that with the iphone in the UK --- no, they can. Apple can't do that with the iphone in Germany --- no, they can. Apple can't do that with the iphone in France --- no, they can.

John Musbach
Dec 15, 2007, 03:59 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Orange launched (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/28/orange-announces-iphone-france-and-unlocking-options/) the iPhone in France last week and has sold 30,000 (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/12/05/30000-iphones-sold-in-france/) iPhones since that time. Due to French law, Orange is required to allow the phone to be unlocked 6 months after its purchase. In the meanwhile, however, they are allowing customers to pay an additional 100 euro to unlock their iPhone, no matter what plan they choose.

To recap, you can purchase the iPhone in France a number of ways:

399 euro = iPhone + 2 year "iPhone" Orange contract
549 euro = iPhone + any Orange contract
649 euro = iPhone with no contract

And for the first six months, a 100 euro add-on allows you to unlock your iPhone. Unlocking the iPhone allows it to accept SIM cards from any other network, though you would still be bound by the contractual obligations listed above. The early stats from Orange provides interesting information about customer interests.

Apparently, 20% of early iPhone purchasers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7128941.stm) have opted for this unlocked option. Meanwhile 1500 (~5%) (http://www.itwire.com/content/view/15666/1103/) paid for the 649 euro contract-less version. It's unclear how many of those paid for the official unlock, or opted for one of the many free hacks available. Finally, 48% of customers buying iPhones were new to the Orange network.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/05/20-of-iphones-in-france-unlocked-and-other-stats/)

C'mon, someone import these unlocked iPhones to the US... :D

boz0
Dec 18, 2007, 08:33 AM
The world is full of complexities --- but the most effective solution to "consumer rights" is to introduce additional competition.

The main French consumer rights association (UFC-Que Choisir) agrees with you on that point, as pointed out in this article (http://www.lesechos.fr/info/hightec/afp_00051329.htm)(French).

Basically, they're asking that the rules to attribute the 4th 3G licence be reviewed. One company, Free, had initially applied for that licence, but it was decided they couldn't qualify. New rules would probably allow them to enter the market and bring fresh blood.

This association describes the French market as "utterly locked".