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During Steve Jobs' european tour last month, Apple announced partnerships with T-Mobile and O2 to provide the iPhone in both Germany and the UK. Notably absent, however, was the iPhone announcement for France. Orange had been long rumored to be the likely carrier for iPhone in France, and Orange even announced that they would indeed be the exclusive iPhone carrier. Apple, however, has remained silent on the topic.

One issue appears to be a French law that requires mobile phones to be unlocked after 6 months of contract. HardMac claims to have details on the current agreement between Apple and Orange regarding the iPhone distribution in France. The

According to their sources, Apple will accept that an unlocked iPhone will be made available at the end of 6 months in France. If true, this would essentially open up a legitimate source of unlocked iPhones.

Article Link
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,694
2,101
Pennsylvania
seeing how the iPhone has a whole backend that needs to be used, couldn't Apple simply find a way for the phone to figure out it's location, and if it's not in france, to re-lock itself? I mean, if it's not in france, does french law still apply to it? (Nevermind the French business traveler who is taking his legitimately unlocked phone to the states, could apple do this?)
 

SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
So then six months from November is next May.

I still expect Apple to do something to the phones to allow hinder or prevent import of the phones into the US (specialized firmware or something hardware based).
 

saqibhasan

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2007
109
84
Well from past experience, there will be a charge for unlocking the phone. Let's see how hefty that is.
 

carltabet

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
81
12
Beirut
On a day like this it just feels good to be French! :D
Not that I never feel proud about it.
Now all we need is a date for crying out loud.
 

Devil's Refugee

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2007
316
0
This is good news, but in 6 months there'll be a new model out in the US and the scramble to get hands on it will begin all over again, and v1 will be an unwanted cousin....
 

Mars

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2005
11
0
On a day like this it just feels good to be French! :D
Not that I never feel proud about it.
Now all we need is a date for crying out loud.

You really need to prepare to cry out loud? I'll give you one then; cry out loud on 02/11-08... Or tomorrow maybe?!
Or do you need to date someone to cry out loud?!
;):p
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,706
5,877
Canada
So, EBay will be full of legitimate unlocked iPhones.

I wonder if Apple would force the language to be french only on that version of the iPhone. Its going to be difficult to stop black imports.

This is of course due to a French law ( which is great for the consumer ).
 

quinney

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2007
55
0
So, EBay will be full of legitimate unlocked iPhones.

I wonder if Apple would force the language to be french only on that version of the iPhone. Its going to be difficult to stop black imports.

This is of course due to a French law ( which is great for the consumer ).

All of this is assuming the rumour is true. If the rumour is false and
the delay leads to Apple never releasing or waiting a couple years
to release iPhone in France, how will that be for the consumer?
 

sananda

macrumors 68030
May 24, 2007
2,633
446
All of this is assuming the rumour is true. If the rumour is false and
the delay leads to Apple never releasing or waiting a couple years
to release iPhone in France, how will that be for the consumer?

i don't understand what you're saying. are you saying that the french consumers will be hard done by if iphone is not sold in france and that would be the fault of the consumer law?
 

carltabet

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
81
12
Beirut
All of this is assuming the rumour is true. If the rumour is false and
the delay leads to Apple never releasing or waiting a couple years
to release iPhone in France, how will that be for the consumer?

quinney stop it you're scaring me!
I'm just sick of all these rumors, they're pushing us to get iPhones from the US and unlock them.
 

photobiker

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2006
35
0
Apple has several ways to make it difficult to export unlocked iPhones from France. They can:
- freeze the language to French, refusing even a full restore from English binaries.
- require the phone to be activated through the French iTunes, which itself already requires a French credit card.
- only accept SIM cards from one of the 3 French cellphone carriers (the consumer law requires the phones to be unlocked while used in France, but it isn't extraterritorial).
 

j26

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2005
1,516
28
Paddyland
...
- require the phone to be activated through the French iTunes, which itself already requires a French credit card...

That could get into trouble given the single market and freedom of movement within Europe.

the other two are probably doable though.
 

sananda

macrumors 68030
May 24, 2007
2,633
446
That could get into trouble given the single market and freedom of movement within Europe.

the other two are probably doable though.

what has that idea got to do with freedom of movement?
 

j26

macrumors 68000
Mar 30, 2005
1,516
28
Paddyland
what has that idea got to do with freedom of movement?

If I move to France shouldn't be obliged to get a French credit card - it's an indirect restriction on establishment. I have the right to travel to France to avail of services legally available there. I could (theoretically) go to France, set up an iTunes account and download hundreds of songs before returning home. Having a requirement for a French credit card prevents me from doing this.

The main argument would be the single market, of course.
 

sananda

macrumors 68030
May 24, 2007
2,633
446
If I move to France shouldn't be obliged to get a French credit card - it's an indirect restriction on establishment. I have the right to travel to France to avail of services legally available there. I could (theoretically) go to France, set up an iTunes account and download hundreds of songs before returning home. Having a requirement for a French credit card prevents me from doing this.

no restriction on itunes has any relevance to freedom of movement whatsoever.
 

carltabet

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
81
12
Beirut
MacBidouille is backing up that iPhones are available to buy SIM-unlocked now.
http://www.hardmac.com/news/2007-10-12/#7319

The shopping centre that was selling it for 999 euros has stopped doing so today after Apple's lawyers gave them a call apparently. It's not going to be that easy for major retailers to sell unlocked iPhones without taking risks. Smaller shops will get away with it but I suspect only advanced users will buy one considering how easy it is to brick an unlocked iPhone.
 

carfac

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2006
1,225
2
The shopping centre that was selling it for 999 euros has stopped doing so today after Apple's lawyers gave them a call apparently. It's not going to be that easy for major retailers to sell unlocked iPhones without taking risks. Smaller shops will get away with it but I suspect only advanced users will buy one considering how easy it is to brick an unlocked iPhone.

Just curious- on what basis does Apple have a valid claim to make them stop selling the iPhone? Not trying to start an argument or anything, I am just not to smart sometimes. I could see them not being allowed to say they are a valid Apple retialer.... but I do not see how they can prevent them from selling them unless they were counterfeit or something...
 

carltabet

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
81
12
Beirut
Just curious- on what basis does Apple have a valid claim to make them stop selling the iPhone? Not trying to start an argument or anything, I am just not to smart sometimes. I could see them not being allowed to say they are a valid Apple retialer.... but I do not see how they can prevent them from selling them unless they were counterfeit or something...

Well it seems that although things are quite conflictual right now between Apple and the carrier Orange, they did sign an agreement and the only outlets that have the authorization to sell iPhones are Orange stores and Apple stores. They might also allow a few resellers to sell it but so far all these shops the iPhone was seen at don't have any agreement with either companies. Even official resellers will not risk selling it earlier than scheduled because that would obviously upset Apple and threaten current agreements.
 
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