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MacRumors
Dec 17, 2008, 01:54 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2008/12/17/orange-loses-iphone-exclusivity-in-france/)

Apple must allow (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_france_iphone_orange_3) other mobile carriers to sell the iPhone 3G in France based on a ruling today.The decision overturns an exclusive arrangement with Apple that has allowed Orange to be the iPhone's exclusive distributor in France since the phone was launched last year.Orange does not believe the decision will affect agreements in other countries. Bouygues Telecom "welcomed" the ruling and plans to sell the iPhone shortly.


Article Link: Orange Loses iPhone Exclusivity in France (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2008/12/17/orange-loses-iphone-exclusivity-in-france/)



bizzaregood
Dec 17, 2008, 01:56 PM
It would be nice if this was worldwide and got rid of the need for yellowsn0w. but i doubt it will happen anywhere else.

beon
Dec 17, 2008, 01:56 PM
We'll see how this goes... I wonder if other carriers will exnay the visual voicemail? I like to believe there's a reason :apple::apple::apple: is so tight about its partnerships. And I'm pretty damn sure the french gov't doesn't know more about telecom than Apple + Orange. We'll see!

roger6106
Dec 17, 2008, 01:59 PM
Hopefully this will make officially unlocked iPhones available in the US without a contract.

PlaceofDis
Dec 17, 2008, 02:06 PM
Hopefully this will make officially unlocked iPhones available in the US without a contract.

why would a ruling in another country affect Apple's business practices in the US? the mind boggles.

bigjnyc
Dec 17, 2008, 02:21 PM
why would a ruling in another country affect Apple's business practices in the US? the mind boggles.

I think he meant unlocked iphones from France making their way to the US, like being sold on ebay or something.

david803sc
Dec 17, 2008, 02:26 PM
I think he meant unlocked iphones from France making their way to the US, like being sold on ebay or something.

Actually he said "official", a ruling in france has no bearing in the US or any other country, and besides the ruling only says other carriers have to be able to sell the Phone that DOES NOT mean they have to sell it unlocked or even without a contract, so it may not even help ebay sales, but I guess one could hope.

Harpo
Dec 17, 2008, 02:39 PM
Actually he said "official", a ruling in france has no bearing in the US or any other country, and besides the ruling only says other carriers have to be able to sell the Phone that DOES NOT mean they have to sell it unlocked or even without a contract, so it may not even help ebay sales, but I guess one could hope.

I think by "official" he meant officially in France. Doesn't seem too Apple-like to sell an unlocked one, though.

roger6106
Dec 17, 2008, 02:48 PM
I think by "official" he meant officially in France. Doesn't seem too Apple-like to sell an unlocked one, though.

Exactly. I know that you can purchase ones that have been unlocked, but there is no guarantee that future software updates won't break that. If Apple is forced to sell the iPhone through other carriers in France they might end up selling officially unlocked iPhones, which would then make it to the US.

bytethese
Dec 17, 2008, 03:13 PM
What's to stop Apple from simply not selling the iPhone in France any longer?

Seems like a move Apple might make. "We can't have just one carrier in France? Ok, how about no carrier then, we'll take our business elsewhere..."

Badandy
Dec 17, 2008, 03:16 PM
What socialists (the French). Apple can't even choose who they do and do not want to do business with in that effed up country.

fabian9
Dec 17, 2008, 03:29 PM
Hopefully this will make officially unlocked iPhones available in the US without a contract.

They already sell unlocked iphones in France, UK and some other countries. But they're still restricted to the country they are bought in, probably in order to avoid people distributing them in the US and other countries.

I don't see how this ruling would change this, they'll still be sold in France and only work with french SIMs.

SmartIndianKid
Dec 17, 2008, 03:54 PM
What socialists (the French). Apple can't even choose who they do and do not want to do business with in that effed up country.

Good point. Choice for the consumer is a terrible thing, much like socialism.

foobarbaz
Dec 17, 2008, 04:20 PM
Good for Apple. Lately they don't seem to be interested in exclusive deals anymore, so this probably just spares them from waiting till it expires. They'll probably sell more iPhones this way. Bad for Orange.

I don't see how this ruling would change this, they'll still be sold in France and only work with french SIMs.

Are you sure? Many Germans seem to be importing Belgian, Italian and Czech iPhones. I haven't heard about country locks.
The unlocked iPhones available in France, by the way, are not imported because they are more expensive.

anim8or
Dec 17, 2008, 04:22 PM
They already sell unlocked iphones in France, UK and some other countries. But they're still restricted to the country they are bought in, probably in order to avoid people distributing them in the US and other countries.

I don't see how this ruling would change this, they'll still be sold in France and only work with french SIMs.

They sell unlocked iphones in the uk.... hmm that sounds a little too good to be true my friend????

JMP
Dec 17, 2008, 04:25 PM
Good point. Choice for the consumer is a terrible thing, much like socialism.

Yup, choice for the consumer is so 80's. Who would want that?
Are we that stupid? LOL. :p

Tipsy
Dec 17, 2008, 04:29 PM
What's to stop Apple from simply not selling the iPhone in France any longer?

Seems like a move Apple might make. "We can't have just one carrier in France? Ok, how about no carrier then, we'll take our business elsewhere..."

Nothing to stop them doing that - apart from the millions upon millions of Euros of sales they'd miss out on and the damage it would do to Apple's brand in France. That'd be real smart.

Apple has formed agreements with only one provider in so many countries because it enhances the aura of exclusivity around the product, means they can get some guarantees about the user experience (why risk complaints about the product because of the crappy 3G network it's being used on?) and, most of all, because it makes them money. The carrier has to pay more than usual up front, subsidising the phone, but also gets a load of new customers who're all paying for data. The "Apple knows best" defence which seems to be emerging is cute, but perhaps some people here should consider if Apple is just trying to do what's best for Apple - whether that's good or bad for customers.

gelorobinson
Dec 17, 2008, 04:45 PM
They sell unlocked iphones in the uk.... hmm that sounds a little too good to be true my friend????

No, only pay-as-you-go phones. Still tied to O2!

babyj
Dec 17, 2008, 04:52 PM
I'd be surprised if that ruling is upheld as its just crazy and illogical. Though if you read the article its only an interim ruling pending a final decision, so the final decision itself could overturn the interim ruling.

I'm sure it will take Apple a while to sort out an agreement with other carriers, then they've got to be happy with their network being compatible with the phone, properly test the visual voice mail, then it will probably take them a while longer to allocate stock and so on.

Fotek2001
Dec 17, 2008, 05:11 PM
I'd be surprised if that ruling is upheld as its just crazy and illogical.

Ummm... Why is it 'crazy and illogical'..? Just because the US government lets big business walk all over consumers, it doesn't mean the rest of the world has to follow... It's no wonder the phone business in the US is so far behind the rest of the world with that kind of attitude :rolleyes:

QuarterSwede
Dec 17, 2008, 05:11 PM
Yup, choice for the consumer is so 80's. Who would want that?
Are we that stupid? LOL. :p
Ummm... Why is it 'crazy and illogical'..? Just because the US government lets big business walk all over consumers, it doesn't mean the rest of the world has to follow... It's no wonder the phone business in the US is so far behind the rest of the world with that kind of attitude :rolleyes:
There's nothing wrong with consumer choice. The problem is when companies start having their rights trampled on*. If you have a problem with the way a company is doing business, speak with your wallet.

If this decision is made final then I wouldn't be surprised if Apple pulls out of France just to spite the government. I wouldn't blame them because that's what I would do if that happened to me.

*Yes I agree that consumer rights come before company rights.

nickXedge
Dec 17, 2008, 05:21 PM
Hopefully this will make officially unlocked iPhones available in the US without a contract.

I doubt a ruling in France, of all countries, will affect the Free Market Economy here in the US, even if it is currently on the downturn.

IgnatiusTheKing
Dec 17, 2008, 05:23 PM
Hooray for a government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong!

Fotek2001
Dec 17, 2008, 05:26 PM
The problem is when companies start having their rights trampled on*.

Companies don't have rights... Unless I'm missing something they never did and if you can explain why they should, I'd like to hear it.:rolleyes:

JMP
Dec 17, 2008, 05:31 PM
There's nothing wrong with consumer choice. The problem is when companies start having their rights trampled on. If you have a problem with the way a company is doing business, speak with your wallet.

I personally have no Pb with the way company is doing business.
However, I do have a Pb when that company choses on my behalf what, or what no to do, or who I have to do business with (carrier), should I choose to buy their product.
The logical answer would be:"Don't buy an iPhone then".

But what if I want an iPhone, do I have to get an AT&T (or Orange) contract?
No. When I buy a set of pickups for a guitar, the maker does not tell me I HAVE TO put them on a specific guitar. When I buy a car, I don't have to buy gas from any specific distributor...

If this decision is made final then I wouldn't be surprised if Apple pulls out of France just to spite the government. I wouldn't blame them because that's what I would do if that happened to me.

They will not pull out of France. There are many other countries where the iPhone is available from more than one carrier.;)

*Yes I agree that consumer rights come before company rights.

Agreed

JMP
Dec 17, 2008, 05:35 PM
Companies don't have rights... Unless I'm missing something they never did and if you can explain why they should, I'd like to hear it.:rolleyes:

So would I.
However, as a company, the only right you have is deciding who you want to do business with. ;)

QuarterSwede
Dec 17, 2008, 05:40 PM
Companies don't have rights... Unless I'm missing something they never did and if you can explain why they should, I'd like to hear it.:rolleyes:
Why should they be forced to do business with other companies if they don't want to? That's ridiculous.

I personally have no Pb with the way company is doing business.
However, I do have a Pb when that company choses on my behalf what, or what no to do, or who I have to do business with (carrier), should I choose to buy their product.
The logical answer would be:"Don't buy an iPhone then".

But what if I want an iPhone, do I have to get an AT&T (or Orange) contract?
No. When I buy a set of pickups for a guitar, the maker does not tell me I HAVE TO put them on a specific guitar. When I buy a car, I don't have to buy gas from any specific distributor...

They will not pull out of France. There are many other countries where the iPhone is available from more than one carrier.;)
All those analogies don't fit. It's more like forcing a manufacturer of toys to sell to more than one a retail store if they only do business with one particular store for whatever reason.

Also, don't underestimate the power that Apple thinks they have. Unfortunately they tend to take things personally. I'm not saying they will pull out, only that they may.

JMP
Dec 17, 2008, 05:59 PM
It's more like forcing a manufacturer of toys to sell to more than one a retail store if they only do business with one particular store for whatever reason.

The thing is, in some countries, like France, there are laws preventing unfair trade/competition. One cannot go against a countries' law. Apple (as well as Orange) are not above the law.
What prevails, the law of the land or the questionable "rights" of a company?

PS: I see your point though.

nozebleed
Dec 17, 2008, 05:59 PM
What socialists (the French). Apple can't even choose who they do and do not want to do business with in that effed up country.

Well, get used to it, elections have consequences. The next administration here in the US share the same views as the {democratic?} French. Think not? Look at california, and the entire northeast.

j763
Dec 17, 2008, 06:14 PM
What socialists (the French). Apple can't even choose who they do and do not want to do business with in that effed up country.

What corporatists (the Americans). They can't even choose which provider they use their own phone with.

babyj
Dec 17, 2008, 06:44 PM
Ummm... Why is it 'crazy and illogical'..? Just because the US government lets big business walk all over consumers, it doesn't mean the rest of the world has to follow... It's no wonder the phone business in the US is so far behind the rest of the world with that kind of attitude :rolleyes:

You're in the UK the same as me, are you saying that all exclusive deals in the UK between mobile phone manufacturers and the mobile phone companies should be ruled illegal? The iPhone / O2 agreement is just one of a large number of similar agreements already in place.

What about exclusive versions of books, cd's and dvd's that are common place with retailers? Should they all be ruled illegal as well?

We're talking about a single phone (available in two versions) which accounts for a small percentage of the mobile phone market, with similar products readily available from other manufacturers and mobile phone companies. So how can the exclusive deal possibly be detrimental to the consumer?

I'm not certain of the laws in France but I'd imagine this ultimately comes under the jurisdiction of the EU courts, who would throw it out on the spot - they've made similar rulings to allow exclusivity deals in other areas of retail over the last 5 years.

macthetiger85
Dec 17, 2008, 07:13 PM
What socialists (the French). Apple can't even choose who they do and do not want to do business with in that effed up country.

Was that necessary?
Besides - all people have wanted in the US was an unlocked iPhone where it doesn't have to be offered with AT&T or offered locked but by other companies - just because France is getting it more openly and you're jealous doesn't mean you can talk crap about a country.

In Belgium it's illegal to sell the any phone locked - what socialists

In US it's illegal to buy a Cuban cigar - what socialists!
:rolleyes:

Can't even choose to buy whatever cigars I want to buy.

lowbatteries
Dec 17, 2008, 08:38 PM
The big difference is between a government being an entity that protects the rights of individuals or an entity that forces people and companies to act a certain way.

IMHO, laws in general should be prohibitive, not proscriptive. They should say "YOU CAN'T" and not "YOU MUST".

You can't kill people. You can't steal. You can't lie to consumers.

France is saying Apple MUST distribute its product through more than one channel. The law requires an action on Apple's part.

This ruling tells Apple they MUST do business with other companies. This is a burden on the business, because they actually must go out and strike up contracts with other retailers.

Don't forget that any company is made up of individuals, so of course it has rights - the collective rights of its owners. Just because you own a company you suddenly lose the right to decide who you do business with?

lowbatteries
Dec 17, 2008, 08:44 PM
Well, get used to it, elections have consequences. The next administration here in the US share the same views as the {democratic?} French. Think not? Look at california, and the entire northeast.

You realize you can be both democratic and socialist right? Just like a country can be both totalitarian and capitalist. Democracy ≠ capitalism.

Look at California? No thanks, I'm homophobic-phobic, looking at them makes me feel funny inside.

And what does the new administration have to do with California or the northeast? What a nonsensical little rant.

Stella
Dec 17, 2008, 09:38 PM
I doubt a ruling in France, of all countries, will affect the Free Market Economy here in the US, even if it is currently on the downturn.

I love large businesses: when times are good, they are the first to shout 'no government interference', yet, when times are bad, they cry out for government help, re: banks, insurance companies and failed ( and un-competitive US) car manufacturers.

:-\

Apple could sell many more iPhones if they didn't do exclusivity crap.

ppnkg
Dec 17, 2008, 11:15 PM
I doubt a ruling in France, of all countries, will affect the Free Market Economy here in the US, even if it is currently on the downturn.

Watch proudly as your free market economy comes down with a bang:p

dextertangocci
Dec 17, 2008, 11:19 PM
Actually he said "official", a ruling in france has no bearing in the US or any other country, and besides the ruling only says other carriers have to be able to sell the Phone that DOES NOT mean they have to sell it unlocked or even without a contract, so it may not even help ebay sales, but I guess one could hope.

But they do sell it unlocked and without a contract. Just like in South Africa and Italy.

PurpleEyes
Dec 17, 2008, 11:52 PM
Finally something i can talk about. (I'm French).
This decision did not come from the government (especially from our liberal president) but from one of the uppest business court of France: the fair competition court. (So, don't call us Socialists. Not all of us at least!)
Of course, this will have impacts of the consumer's wallet. Today, an 8GB iPhone witha new 2-years plan at Orange costs 100, sorry, €99 (≈ $130), with a €50 a month plan. The french iPhone may become then the most expensive one in Europe, but with cheapest plans.

I bought a 16GB a month after its release (always sold out!) at €250 (by then, it would have cost $400 and $300 nowadays), with a non-iPhone 2h plan (I"ve got unlimited texts, Internet but no mails on celular network and no visual voicemail).
My point is that there is no way Apple gives up France. It'll make less money but will sell more iPhone because it is actually really cheap.

However, the troubles are coming for Apple because this decision might influence European institution which are extremelly liberal...

phalewhale
Dec 18, 2008, 12:08 AM
In [the] US it's illegal to buy a Cuban cigar - what socialists!

I LOLd at this! Excellent point... Wonder if this will be lifted within the next 4-8 years?

kas23
Dec 18, 2008, 02:35 AM
My point is that there is no way Apple gives up France. It'll make less money but will sell more iPhone because it is actually really cheap.

I agree. Apple must LOVE this decision. Problem is the exclusive contract with Orange probably has Orange paying Apple a large huge chunk of money. Now, will Orange be able to back out of this contract now (since they will no longer be exclusive)? If not, then Apple gets to pocket Orange's money and sell more phone while they're at it.

It make you wonder what would make Apple more money: the exclusive deal with AT&T (which has AT&T subsidizing a portion of the phone and possibly paying a portion of people's monthly bill to Apple) or having the iPhone on all carriers (they would not get a cut from monthly bills, but would likely get subsidy money AND sell many, many more phones)?

And as for people making fun of the French; with all these bailouts, America is more French than France right now. And this will likely become even worse on January 20th.

esteban2008
Dec 18, 2008, 02:37 AM
Well, this decision is not socialist at all...
It will make the market more competitive, as consumers will be able to choose their provider and hopefully benefit from better deals.
At the moment with Orange it costs them around 50 EUR/month to use their iPhones. The second point? Well, why would any business withdraw from a market of 65Millions potential consumers? It doesn't make any sense. The more mobile phones providers will sell the iPhone, the more money Apple will make...

kas23
Dec 18, 2008, 02:38 AM
Well, this decision is not socialist at all...
It will make the market more competitive, as consumers will be able to choose their provider and hopefully benefit from better deals.
At the moment with Orange it costs them around 50 EUR/month to use their iPhones. The second point? Well, why would any business withdraw from a market of 65Millions potential consumers? It doesn't make any sense. The more mobile phones providers will sell the iPhone, the more money Apple will make...

+1. This common sense seems to be lost on some people.

djdjek
Dec 18, 2008, 02:53 AM
Interesting. How we don't have it in UK. This would be amazing. :)

PurpleEyes
Dec 18, 2008, 02:54 AM
Indeed, if you take the definition of capitalism, it is free competition. OMG, with these deal, is Apple Socialist? XD

But as I said, you can save lots of money by paying more for your iPhone and less for your bill (and then save for iPhone 3, of course)

kas23
Dec 18, 2008, 03:35 AM
Indeed, if you take the definition of capitalism, it is free competition. OMG, with these deal, is Apple Socialist? XD

Well, duh. We all know that. Ask Psystar. ;)

camperdown9
Dec 18, 2008, 03:50 AM
Hi

I think Apple will be happy about this, its means that they can get out of their exclusive contract with Orange France. When the first iPhone when on sale it was linked to one carrier in each country. However when the 3G iPhone when on sale Apple signed up more than one carrier in a number of new markets incl Australia, Italy etc. iPhone on more carriers = more sales!

With regards to this possible judgement effecting agreements in other countries it simply does not.

However in the last two years the EU has started to look at the mobile phone industry. The first thing they did was to set a cap on the roaming charges for voice calls inside the EU. From next summer there will also be a cap on the cost of sending text message (not more than Eur 0.11:))and data charges. This is all good news for us as it means lower costs, but they are also going to consider if carriers should be allowed to start to charge customers to receive calls as well as makeing them.

My point is that if Apple were to kick up a stink with regards to a judgement re their exclusive agreement with Orange France & the iPhone, then its likely that the EU will look at all exclusive deals between mobile phone manufactures and carriers. Then make a judgement that is valid in all 27 EU countries based on what the EU thinks is the customers best interest.

Alex

camperdown9
Dec 18, 2008, 04:30 AM
You're in the UK the same as me, are you saying that all exclusive deals in the UK between mobile phone manufacturers and the mobile phone companies should be ruled illegal? The iPhone / O2 agreement is just one of a large number of similar agreements already in place.

What about exclusive versions of books, cd's and dvd's that are common place with retailers? Should they all be ruled illegal as well?



Hi

The big question is are any exclusive deals between carriers and mobile phone manufactures in the public's best interest?

Exclusive deals between the makers of books, CD's or DVD and shops is not the same as exclusive deals between handset manufactures and carriers.

Example

If I want to buy an iPhone or Blackberry Storm etc my only real way of doing this is to enter into some kind of agreement with O2 for the iPhone or Vodafone for the Storm. So if I want an iPhone, Storm or G1 etc "I" have no choice in what carrier I get to use it with.

(Ignore turbo-sims, unlocks & ebay we are talking of the shelf)

If CD or DVD publishers were to work in the same way as mobile phone makers and carriers can, then it would be like them saying yes you can buy the latest Bond movie but we have made the DVD is such a way that it will only play with the DVD player that we sell.

So if you want product A (iPhone) you must sign to to product B (agreement with O2)

Alex



.

kas23
Dec 18, 2008, 05:37 AM
If CD or DVD publishers were to work in the same way as mobile phone makers and carriers can, then it would be like them saying yes you can buy the latest Bond movie but we have made the DVD is such a way that it will only play with the DVD player that we sell.

So if you want product A (iPhone) you must sign to to product B (agreement with O2)

Alex


Isn't this kinda like the DRM'd MP3s that Apple sells through iTunes only being able to be played on the iPod? This type of business model is nothing new to Apple.

Mullerman
Dec 18, 2008, 06:01 AM
Dig at France all you like but this is great news for consumers. The Mobile phone market in the UK is extremely competitive meaning the latest smart phones can be free depending on your monthly contract length and cost. The constraint of just the mobile operator O2 in the UK carrying Apple iPhones should in theory mean its an expensive purchase but to keep up with the Sony Ericsson/ Nokia offerings the costs are actually reasonable.

£35 Month = 600 mins, 500 texts, + unlimited data/wi-fi
The phone costs £96.89 = 8GB, £155.61 = 16GB

or buy the phone @ £342.50 pay & go. data/wi-fi free 12 months then £10 month.

Competition is good, cartels are bad .... see how Opec operate.
More iPhone distributors will equal better tarifs.

ajbrehm
Dec 18, 2008, 06:22 AM
We'll see how this goes... I wonder if other carriers will exnay the visual voicemail? I like to believe there's a reason :apple::apple::apple: is so tight about its partnerships. And I'm pretty damn sure the french gov't doesn't know more about telecom than Apple + Orange. We'll see!

Visual Voicemail doesn't work with o2 Ireland either, and o2 Ireland is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone here.

boer
Dec 18, 2008, 07:20 AM
What corporatists (the Americans). They can't even choose which provider they use their own phone with.

:D Touché!

Also DRM is an American invention. Way to go free market!

babyj
Dec 18, 2008, 07:36 AM
The big question is are any exclusive deals between carriers and mobile phone manufactures in the public's best interest?

The question should be; are exclusive deals against public interest, are they unfair on the customer and do they limit choice?

My point being that while exclusive deals like this aren't beneficial to the customer I don't think there is any evidence that they are unfair either.

If we were talking about a phone or range of phones that had a major market share, certain functionality that people can't be without and can't get elsewhere or unfair contracts then there would be a case. But none of this is happening that I've seen.

Bottom line is if you don't like it, don't buy an iPhone - there are plenty of other phones with similar capabilities on a wide range of tariffs with a wide range of carriers.

As I said before, this interim ruling is crazy and will be overruled.

camperdown9
Dec 18, 2008, 08:51 AM
The question should be; are exclusive deals against public interest, are they unfair on the customer and do they limit choice?

.

are they unfair - Yes. Some people in the UK can't get an O2 signal just like some people in the USA can't get an At&t signal. So is it not unfair that these people can't buy a product that would work just because Apple in this case has an exclusive agreement with a company that does not offer service in the area they live?

do they limit choice - Yes, choice of carrier.

"As I said before, this interim ruling is crazy and will be overruled." - Maybe yes maybe no but at some point the EU will look at sim locks, and if buying service and a handset as a package is a good thing for competition.




Alex

matticus008
Dec 18, 2008, 01:38 PM
Companies don't have rights... Unless I'm missing something they never did and if you can explain why they should, I'd like to hear it.:rolleyes:
What stuff! Companies absolutely have rights. There are entire areas of law devoted to it. A company also has all the rights of an individual seller, along with a set of benefits available to corporate entities. Companies are also, in exchange, subject to a great deal more regulation (sometimes too much, very often not enough) than private individuals.
The thing is, in some countries, like France, there are laws preventing unfair trade/competition.
There are such laws in all countries. The specifics vary, and part of France's planned economy legacy is a voiding of most exclusivity deals. The court applied French law and came to the correct decision for France.
France is saying Apple MUST distribute its product through more than one channel. The law requires an action on Apple's part.
No, the ruling says that Orange can't be by contract the sole provider. There is no requirement that Apple go out and find a second distributor, but only that they may elect to do so and can't be stopped by an exclusivity deal with Orange.
Indeed, if you take the definition of capitalism, it is free competition.
Free market capitalism is but one kind of capitalism, and it essentially dictates that parties can do whatever they want, and that includes exclusivity arrangements with other suppliers. The free market model says that consumers will determine the success of the model--they will buy other products from other sources if the terms exceed the value.
The big question is are any exclusive deals between carriers and mobile phone manufactures in the public's best interest?
In many cases, yes, at least to get a product introduced. Exclusive deals can be part of the compensation used to get a carrier to sell your product (nobody knew if the iPhone would be a flop back before it was announced), or they can be used as a profit source to help lower the price (if you get $500 million to cover your distribution costs, you don't have to build that into your per-unit price).

The problem arises when the exclusive arrangement is used to increase profits for one or more of the parties (e.g. if Orange's plans are overpriced compared to similar voice/data packages from comparable providers). If another carrier wants to offer Apple the same amount of money for each iPhone, they'd want to do it, unless they were contractually barred.
Also DRM is an American invention. Way to go free market!
Yes, actually. Owner introduces convenient, low-priced product, contemplative of copy restrictions. Consumer weighs benefits and determines price is acceptable and purchases. Free market wins. Other sellers are free to compete with better quality, lower prices, less DRM if they so choose. I don't know where people get the idea that a free market caters specially to consumers. It does not. Sellers have all of the rights, and consumers have the money. It's a balancing game, and consumers never get more than the seller is willing to part with for the amount of money offered.

babyj
Dec 18, 2008, 02:47 PM
are they unfair - Yes. Some people in the UK can't get an O2 signal just like some people in the USA can't get an At&t signal. So is it not unfair that these people can't buy a product that would work just because Apple in this case has an exclusive agreement with a company that does not offer service in the area they live?

do they limit choice - Yes, choice of carrier.

The law doesn't enshrine the right for a consumer to be able to buy an iPhone with the carrier and tariff of their choice. A poor signal doesn't stop you from buying an iPhone from O2 and is just irrelevant to this subject.

Besides, the exclusive agreements don't limit choice of network as all of the major UK networks have phones with similar capabilities to the iPhone (which are often promoted as iPhone alternatives).

Note also that this complaint wasn't from a consumer, a regulatory body or a competitions body - it was from another network who didn't win the iPhone contract and that is the only reason they've made the complaint. They might view it as unfair on them, but that's business.

alphaod
Dec 18, 2008, 03:41 PM
European governments interfere way too much

ouxis
Dec 18, 2008, 04:06 PM
I agree. Apple must LOVE this decision. Problem is the exclusive contract with Orange probably has Orange paying Apple a large huge chunk of money. Now, will Orange be able to back out of this contract now (since they will no longer be exclusive)? If not, then Apple gets to pocket Orange's money and sell more phone while they're at it.


You're absolutely right. Although, this decision is an interim one, and might be reversed on the long term.

Also, if Apple and Orange have good lawyers, and I am sure they do, they'll probably have thought this question over already and have contractual remedies for this change of circumstances.

The other question is: will Bouygues Telecom and SFR will be able to cut a deal with Apple or any middleman? and will they be able to do this fast, as in before Christmas?

Ghibli
Dec 18, 2008, 06:49 PM
I just want to confim that all iPhones sold in Italy are fully unlocked. No Sim-lock, no Op-lock and no country-lock whatsoever.

They are officially unlocked (from start). Just buy them and put inside any sim you like.

The only problem is the higher price: 569 Euros for the 16GB (about 800 US$) and 499 Euros for the 8 GB (about 720 US$).

boer
Dec 19, 2008, 02:21 AM
I don't know where people get the idea that a free market caters specially to consumers. It does not.
I was being sarcastic. DRM and mobile operator lockins are equal in suckyness. In both cases what consumer gets is a bag of hurt.

PurpleEyes
Dec 19, 2008, 05:00 PM
The other question is: will Bouygues Telecom and SFR will be able to cut a deal with Apple or any middleman? and will they be able to do this fast, as in before Christmas?

You've got to consider several data such as the negotiator's English skills or the velocity of an average French salesman. Since both are really low, I say that SFR and Bouygues won't have it before 2009!

What you could have done however is what lots of people have done with SFR: threaten them to switch for Orange in order to use the iPhone. If it costs you €600 to get an unsim-locked iPhone without a contract, SFR pays you €450 if you take an "Illimythic" plan (lots and lots of things for lots and lots of money). But I think this was already told here.

pol0001
Dec 22, 2008, 01:43 AM
European governments interfere way too much

Excatly. Let the corporate world make their deals without any scrutinizing from the gouvernement. Worked wonders for the US Financial sector. :rolleyes:

Nudist
Dec 22, 2008, 04:30 AM
Good point. Choice for the consumer is a terrible thing, much like socialism.


Like in the US where the government bails out the autos and banks, privatise the profit, socialise the loss viva socialists :cool::cool:

covisio
Dec 22, 2008, 08:30 AM
I can fully understand Apple's reasoning for making exclusivity agreements here in the UK. Edge network coverage was patchy and 3G is still patchy - I for instance cannot connect via 3G or Edge from my office, I can only connect to the standard network.
Most if not all networks are currently being upgraded to improve 3G performance but this is a time-consuming process requiring much resource and more engineers than are available in the UK (I know, I work for such a company).
We import engineers from all over the world to fulfill network upgrade requirements. It's actually one of the few growth industries left.
In much the same way that Apple is fussy about the iApps that are allowed onto the iPhone (so that performance of the device is not compromised), Apple wanted to protect the performance of the iPhone over the network it was being used on.
Over the coming years all networks in the UK will be able to deliver satisfactory 3G performance. I'm sure by that time Apple will open up the iPhone to any carrier. It has got to be in Apple's interest to sell the device through as many channels as possible.
Oh, and don't diss the French for their economic policies - they will probably be one of the least affected countries of the current mess because they don't completely rely on a credit-driven society, unlike the UK and our equally reckless friends in the US.

Artio
Dec 22, 2008, 08:41 AM
I just want to be absolutely sure about this...
I'm in Paris on holiday. I don't speak French but a sign in a store says I can buy a 16Gb 3G iPhone for €609 with Pay as you Go. My questions are; Will I be able to use this phone with SIM cards from other countries? Will I be able to update the software in the future without bricking the phone?

liquidh2o
Dec 22, 2008, 09:03 AM
Any guess to how much the other carriers will try and sell the iphone for? Will be interesting to see if this starts some pricing wars.

StuBeck
Dec 22, 2008, 10:42 AM
If Apple wanted the best network in the UK, they would have gone with Vodafone. O2 sent one of my clients home with a edge sim card for his iphone :rolleyes:

ouxis
Dec 22, 2008, 04:28 PM
I just want to be absolutely sure about this...
I'm in Paris on holiday. I don't speak French but a sign in a store says I can buy a 16Gb 3G iPhone for €609 with Pay as you Go. My questions are; Will I be able to use this phone with SIM cards from other countries? Will I be able to update the software in the future without bricking the phone?

If you want it to work with sim cards from other countries, you have two choices:

You have to pay Orange an additional €100 for them to unlock it, OR

you may also be able do it with the soon to-come-dev-team-unlock for free (depending on the firmware of the iphone you bought.)

lutin
Dec 30, 2008, 07:31 AM
What socialists (the French). Apple can't even choose who they do and do not want to do business with in that effed up country.

first you have said "effed up"
you should ashamed of yourself because that's a racist insult

second FYI
that's not "socialism" : a commission (not the gov'ment) rules to protect consumer choice, freedom and interest
and i believe consumer's choice and compagnies competition are the fundamentals of modern liberal economy, aren't they?

third
i don't know which country you are from, and i don't want to know because i have no need or willing to insult an all nation like you have done
but i can tell YOU alone are ignorant and stupid

forth
i'm amazed that forum's moderator let a post like yours

Anuba
Jan 1, 2009, 09:16 PM
I'm sure it will take Apple a while to sort out an agreement with other carriers, then they've got to be happy with their network being compatible with the phone, properly test the visual voice mail, then it will probably take them a while longer to allocate stock and so on.
The visual voice mail is optional -- many of their exclusive carriers worldwide have chosen not to implement it. Mine (Telia in Sweden) being one of them. So that's a non-argument.

As for compatibility, it's not like Apple has any moral authority in that department. The iPhone 3G was buggy as hell in the beginning, it took a couple of releases to sort out the worst problems (dropped calls, nix on 3G despite excellent signal on other 3G phones in the same area, etc). The issue with dropped calls was due to the iPhone requesting an inordinate amount of power and attention from the network, causing dropped calls not just on the iPhones themselves but collateral non-iPhone users as well.

3G isn't rocket science. These networks have been widespread in Europe for several years, I was on my 3rd 3G phone when iPhone 3G came out. All the networks have the same ol' network hardware from Ericsson + Nokia, and all phones work on all networks.

So there's no technical rationale for exclusivity. Only vanity and greed on the part of Apple.

alphaod
Jan 2, 2009, 12:19 AM
Excatly. Let the corporate world make their deals without any scrutinizing from the gouvernement. Worked wonders for the US Financial sector. :rolleyes:

And your EU economy is fairing well? :rolleyes:

Sehnsucht
Jan 2, 2009, 02:26 AM
And your EU economy is fairing well? :rolleyes:

Depends on how you look at it. :D I've been to Germany, which uses the euro, and everything's hella-f***king pricey...including labor. You should see how much the minimum wage is over there!!! :eek: :eek: But everything's "well" as long as you can afford the cost of living. ;)

Sehnsucht
Jan 2, 2009, 02:41 AM
Actually, region-locking iTunes downloads is FAR more annoying to me than exclusive agreements with wireless carriers. For example, in the U.S. store there are only two Rammstein albums available, but the iTunes store Deutschland (go figure) :D has most of them!!! But of course I can't buy any of the songs because iTunes accounts are specific to one country. :mad: And I'm assuming if my friends in Germany sent me their tracks, they wouldn't sync or play on my iPod. Retarded!!!! :rolleyes: :D

buccsmf1
Jan 2, 2009, 10:20 AM
this entire debate is dumb... just ask yourself "what is better for the consumer" ........... it's undoubtedly better to allow more than one company to carry the iphone.... so **** apple. for the only time in my life i'm actually happy with something france did.

we all saw what happened during the first 6 months that the iphone 3G was on at&t. it was clear (in most areas) that at&t could not handle the 3G bandwidth required by so many data hungry iphone users.... hence why 3G sucked for so long. I, myself, live in orlando, and after 6 months the iphone 3G is still shaky at best in my area.

camperdown9
Jan 4, 2009, 09:22 AM
Hi

This might of been reported before, but SFR (Vodafone France) on the front page of their website www.sfr.fr have a link were you can leave your details and they will contact you when they start to sell the iPhone.

Alex

vic jackopson
Jan 5, 2009, 08:32 AM
Exclusive deals are anti competition and other countries should follow the good example of France and ban such deals. Shame on you Apple for screwing your customers with such deals as the O2 deal in GB.

http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2008/12/17/orange-loses-iphone-exclusivity-in-france/)

Apple must allow (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_france_iphone_orange_3) other mobile carriers to sell the iPhone 3G in France based on a ruling today.Orange does not believe the decision will affect agreements in other countries. Bouygues Telecom "welcomed" the ruling and plans to sell the iPhone shortly.


Article Link: Orange Loses iPhone Exclusivity in France (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2008/12/17/orange-loses-iphone-exclusivity-in-france/)

camperdown9
Jan 5, 2009, 10:57 AM
Exclusive deals are anti competition and other countries should follow the good example of France and ban such deals. Shame on you Apple for screwing your customers with such deals as the O2 deal in GB.

Hi

The UK is not France and the mobile phone industry here in the UK is one of the most competitive in the world. Put it this way there are enough mobile phones in regular use in the UK for 120% of the population.

There is no way that O2 will give up there exclusive deal with Apple without a big fight! (Unfortunately)

Alex

pyth
Jan 9, 2009, 01:21 PM
Watch proudly as your free market economy comes down with a bang:p

I'd like to see that. If it was actually being run as a Free Market Economy, we'd be just fine. However, instead of handling this crisis correctly, our government lost their minds because it was election time. Of course, the car mess is their fault anyway.

I'll watch proudly as a Free Marketeer as my nation enters into its socialist phase just as the rest of the world is waking up from the same nightmare, Jan. 20.

Much Ado
Jan 9, 2009, 01:28 PM
If it was actually being run as a Free Market Economy, we'd be just fine. However, instead of handling this crisis correctly, our government lost their minds because it was election time.

I read the words, but I can't for the life of me understand what you are on about.

samab
Jan 9, 2009, 05:57 PM
Exclusive deals are anti competition and other countries should follow the good example of France and ban such deals. Shame on you Apple for screwing your customers with such deals as the O2 deal in GB.

Shame on you for knowing absolutely nothing about anti-competition.

The French mobile telephone service is one of the WORST in the world --- only 3 national carriers, all 3 owned by French companies, zero foreign companies allowed in the market, all 3 French carriers were found guilty of price fixing 3 years ago....

The UK market is one of the most competitive in the world --- 5 national carriers with foreign ownership allowed. UK also has one of the BEST iphone data plans in the world.

The absolute BEST iphone deal in the world is Hong Kong --- 6 carriers in that little city.

The worst iphone deal in the world is Norway --- 2 national carriers.

camperdown9
Jan 10, 2009, 01:26 AM
The French mobile telephone service is one of the WORST in the world --- only 3 national carriers, all 3 owned by French companies, zero foreign companies allowed in the market, all 3 French carriers were found guilty of price fixing 3 years ago....



SFR is 46% owned by Vodafone

kornyboy
Jan 10, 2009, 06:46 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

Hopefully this will make officially unlocked iPhones available in the US without a contract.

This will never happen in the US. There are a ton of different phones that are exclusive to a carrier. This is how the market works in the US. It is not necessarily how it works elsewhere in the world.

chilipie
Jan 10, 2009, 07:01 AM
first you have said "effed up"
you should ashamed of yourself because that's a racist insult

Urm… how?

I'm genuinely curious :)

elcid
Jan 10, 2009, 08:31 AM
Consumer choice = buy the iPhone or if you dont like the service, dont buy one.

French Consumer Choice = le whine until the government steps in to make sure no one is running too fast.

You all had a consumer choice. You all just got pissed because it wasnt the choice you wanted. When something didnt break my way my parents would have told me that's life and it happens all the time.

If a majority of consumers really did care about the ATT exclusivity then we would not have switched, would not have bought the phone and ATT and Apple would have taken a huge hit and failed. But, because of consumer choice, ATT's numbers are up, and there is a group of people that have not bought it because of ATT. Switchers > Non-switchers = Profitable!!

samab
Jan 12, 2009, 10:05 AM
SFR is 46% owned by Vodafone

So what? SFR is majority owned by Vivendi, a French corporation.

samab
Jan 12, 2009, 10:09 AM
Consumer choice = buy the iPhone or if you dont like the service, dont buy one.

French Consumer Choice = le whine until the government steps in to make sure no one is running too fast.

It's even worse than that.

French Consumer Choice = no etf (you have to pay out the rest of the contract), you can go to another carrier who just happens to illegally fix prices with your current carrier.

French consumers don't need the iphone to be available to all three French carriers who just happens to fix prices illegally.

fscheurl
Jan 13, 2009, 10:16 AM
They already sell unlocked iphones in France, UK and some other countries. But they're still restricted to the country they are bought in, probably in order to avoid people distributing them in the US and other countries.

I don't see how this ruling would change this, they'll still be sold in France and only work with french SIMs.

I live in the Netherlands and I bought my iPhone especially in Belgium because the law says no phone can be simlocked. Bought it for € 620 (16Gb black) with no subscription at a Mobistar shop, popped in my dutch Vodafone SIM, activated it through iTunes and voila it works.

So if you want simlock free iPhones Belgium's the place to be. Italy has the same law and it sells them also simlockfree.

bytethese
Jan 13, 2009, 11:05 AM
Bought it for € 620 (16Gb black) with no subscription at a Mobistar shop,

Holy crap tho, that's $820!

I think it's only $600 or $700 to buy it here unlocked with no contract.

pyth
Jan 13, 2009, 07:16 PM
I read the words, but I can't for the life of me understand what you are on about.

Well, it's pretty simple, if the American economy was being run as a free market economy (still with me?), we'd be okay. Instead of doing so, the people in Congress (those Senators and Representatives in DC) tried to rush through a bill that did nothing to help the economy. They just wanted to pass something so that they would get re-elected (that means that they get elected again).

goosnarrggh
Feb 5, 2009, 01:48 PM
Holy crap tho, that's $820!

I think it's only $600 or $700 to buy it here unlocked with no contract.

You actually cannot get an unlocked iPhone from any authorized retailer in the USA.

As for no-contract options, AT&T had been throwing around some press releases with hypothetical numbers like $599 for a no-contract lower-end iPhone 3G, and $699 for a no-contract higher-end iPhone 3G. Neither of those options were actually offered for sale, AT&T was basically just saying that they might consider doing it in the future.

Even if they ever are offered in the future, the phones themselves would most likely still have an AT&T-only SIM lock, even if their sale was not tied to a fixed term contract.

frogleg
Feb 6, 2009, 02:00 PM
The law in France is very clear : all carriers must offer their telephones unlocked. That is why you can LEGALLY buy an unlock iPhone in France. The price will be high though.

Another obligation to carriers is that they must unlock your telephone if you ask. And after 6 months of paid subscribtion, this unlock is free. If you check on Orange France website (http://sites.orange.fr/ge/content/pdf/v2_pdf/documentation/fiche_tarifaire_gen.pdf page 94 if you read French), you'll see that you can unlock for 100 euros before 6 months, for free after.

This is meant to be a way to protect consumers and strengthen competition.

frogleg
Feb 6, 2009, 02:41 PM
Consumer choice = buy the iPhone or if you dont like the service, dont buy one.

French Consumer Choice = le whine until the government steps in to make sure no one is running too fast.



By the way, there is absolutely no government intervention in this matter. It seems that Orange broke a law in some parts of their contract with Apple. That's it.

No need to be racist.

By the way, European laws very much favor competition & consumer protection. Much more than almost anywhere in the world.

Hutch1
Feb 7, 2009, 12:07 PM
That means they will be around $700-$800 USD.

marksman
Feb 7, 2009, 01:20 PM
does the French governent dictate who a company sells their product to? In the us a company is free to decide who they sell to regardless of law saying who can sell a product. This means apple could choose to sell only to orange. If not I could see them pull out.

Hutch1
Feb 7, 2009, 04:39 PM
does the French governent dictate who a company sells their product to? In the us a company is free to decide who they sell to regardless of law saying who can sell a product. This means apple could choose to sell only to orange. If not I could see them pull out.
Hate to tell you the US government does have laws regarding how you sell products, these are classed as anti-trust laws. These are the things companys such as Microsoft have run afoul of. If you read the actual French ruling it actually is similar and has to do with the contract language, not the fact that Apple only sells to O2.

bbplayer5
Feb 7, 2009, 05:04 PM
Win Win for apple!

zap2
Feb 7, 2009, 05:09 PM
does the French governent dictate who a company sells their product to? In the us a company is free to decide who they sell to regardless of law saying who can sell a product. This means apple could choose to sell only to orange. If not I could see them pull out.

No it doesn't, the Government still limits things, but just differently then the French.

Gun Companies can't sell guns to anyone....(for one)

RRutter
Feb 8, 2009, 12:38 PM
Urm… how?

I'm genuinely curious :)

It's not.. He's just trying to get attention. Ignore him ha.

"effed up" isn't a racial comment, nor is it even close.

samab
Feb 9, 2009, 10:27 PM
The law in France is very clear : all carriers must offer their telephones unlocked. That is why you can LEGALLY buy an unlock iPhone in France. The price will be high though.

Another obligation to carriers is that they must unlock your telephone if you ask. And after 6 months of paid subscribtion, this unlock is free. If you check on Orange France website (http://sites.orange.fr/ge/content/pdf/v2_pdf/documentation/fiche_tarifaire_gen.pdf page 94 if you read French), you'll see that you can unlock for 100 euros before 6 months, for free after.

This is meant to be a way to protect consumers and strengthen competition.

The ONLY way to actually protect consumers and strengthen competition --- is to actually increase the number of wireless carriers in France.

France has 3 national carriers and all 3 are French owned.

samab
Feb 9, 2009, 10:31 PM
By By the way, European laws very much favor competition & consumer protection. Much more than almost anywhere in the world.

US anti-trust laws protect actual consumers. European anti-trust laws protect European businesses.

You can just go through the 20-30 European countries that sell the iphone --- absolute useless consumer protection laws.

daveperso
Feb 11, 2009, 05:14 PM
Well I am amazed and disturbed by some of the responses on this thread. First, the idea that all the French are socialist!! Where did that come from ? We're actually being run being a pretty right-wing government at the moment. Sorry but those "socialist" type comments seem pretty ignorant to me. Second, why criticize socialism anyway? I am not a socialist, (whatever that is) but to assume that it has to be bad smacks of McCarthyism to me.

Anyway, just to say that I am delighted with the decision to open the iPhone to other companies. I own a French iPhone and was pretty reluctant to get it since it meant having to subscribe to Orange, a company which I loathed. Orange was a state company before and used to abuse its position of being the only phone company in the market. Then came the competion (if limited). I was then with SFR for ten years or so. But the iPhone was so nice, and my company (American) was offering to buy the iPhone for me, and Orange (France Telecom) had improved slightly, that in the end I relented and took a one year subscription to the iPhone 3G.

Now with this decision to free up the competition more (ie. getting rid of a monopoly) I am hoping to get a better deal and actually get back to the phone company I prefer. Orange have appealed a second time (and they might win) but in the meantime both SFR and Bouygues are in negotiations with Apple and are even encouraging people to be ready for a forthcoming plan (http://soyezpret.sfr.fr/?sfrintid=HPI_MEA_2) on their web sites. Most people here believe that Apple is quite happy with opening up (even if they don't admit it in public). People don't like to be forced to change phone company just because they choose a different phone and I am quite sure that Apple have lost sales because of it.

samab
Feb 11, 2009, 09:11 PM
Now with this decision to free up the competition more (ie. getting rid of a monopoly) I am hoping to get a better deal and actually get back to the phone company I prefer. Orange have appealed a second time (and they might win) but in the meantime both SFR and Bouygues are in negotiations with Apple and are even encouraging people to be ready for a forthcoming plan (http://soyezpret.sfr.fr/?sfrintid=HPI_MEA_2) on their web sites. Most people here believe that Apple is quite happy with opening up (even if they don't admit it in public). People don't like to be forced to change phone company just because they choose a different phone and I am quite sure that Apple have lost sales because of it.

You won't get a better deal just because there are going to be more than one carrier selling the iphone. Plenty of countries like Italy are offering iphones by multiple carriers --- yet their data plans sucked big time (250 MB data allowance).

The real disease is the lack of competition in France (3 national carriers and all 3 are French owned). You people only care about minor symptoms.(exclusive handset deals/simlocking)...

JMP
Mar 19, 2009, 11:35 AM
Well, it seems that Apple did not pull out of France. iPhone are a big success in France.

SFR will be offering iPhones starting April 8 2009.

Others may follow... ;)

Tulipone
Mar 20, 2009, 03:47 PM
I think he meant unlocked iphones from France making their way to the US, like being sold on ebay or something.

Just because Orange may loose their Monopoly does not mean that all the French providers will sell unlocked iPhones. No reason why they would not still e locked down surely?

Chris