20% of iPhones in France Unlocked, and Other Stats

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
    [​IMG]

    Orange launched the iPhone in France last week and has sold 30,000 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 have opted for this unlocked option. Meanwhile 1500 (~5%) 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
     
  2. macrumors 601

    DMann

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    Location:
    10023
    #2
    Freedom Phones

    Sure is great to have options.....
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    al256

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Such better, more progressive laws...

    Wish we would change our laws here in the US to something more like that.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    fastbite

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
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    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    #5
    Unclear .....

    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.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    MrCrowbar

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    /dev/null
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    Sherman Oaks
    #9
    What is "progressive" about laws that limit freedom? Do you really want the US government telling you how to run your business?
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    MrCrowbar

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #11
    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.
     
  12. Guest

    Darkroom

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #12
    i'll buy one when the plans are $20/month, or when it comes to Canada, which ever comes first ;)
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Location:
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    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Location:
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    #14
    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.

    This sounds like it should work, but I'm not familiar enough with the technical details to be sure of it.
     
  15. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Washington DC
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
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    Location:
    West Coast
    #17
    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...
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    #18
    Limit freedom for who, greedy corporations or customers?
     
  19. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Washington DC
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #20
    cool. i'd say the iPhone is doing pretty good in France, especially considering those prices
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    MrCrowbar

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #22
    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...
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    #25
    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.
     

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