Conjecture on what France might tell us about Apple and the iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sobe, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #1
    With information about potential problems selling locked iPhones in France, it got me thinking about the choices Apple may make and what they might tell us about how they operate.

    Whatever happens with France will, I think, tell us a lot about how Apple "thinks" or rather what their philosophy is on the iPhone.

    Are they willing to ditch a market the size of France to keep their phones locked?

    If unlocked iPhones go on sale in France, unless they can somehow lock it to only France, they may have just set up a world wide distributorship for iPhones.

    So any big brains out there with knowledge of cell phone tech want to speculate on how Apple could simultaneously sell unlocked phones in France while keeping them locked in the rest of the world?

    I suppose if the hardware itself were different that might allow for it, but I'm just guessing there.

    Anyone have any specific insights on the tech involved that will shape these decisions?
     
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #2
    Based on how Apple operates, I'd wager they would give up a market that size to maintain tighter control over the iPhone. Would be a very tough decision as France's population is in excess of 60 million.
     
  3. marcol macrumors regular

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    #3
    The issue has been reported as French law requiring phones to be sold both with and without a contract. Obviously that's not the same as selling locked and unlocked.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/sto...x?guid={ACD41C16-259F-4454-B5EB-B2081544C17A}

    Anyone clarify?
     
  4. sananda macrumors 68020

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    #4
    i don't know the french law that says that a locked phone can only be sold alongside an unlocked version (i've only read the news articles), but it wouldn't make any sense at all if that unlocked phone were only unlocked for french carriers. the rationale behind the law must exist not only in relation to having freedom of choice of domestic carrier but also in relation to foreign carriers. it must apply if french national wishes to travel beyond his borders or, indeed, relocate (after all there is freedom of movement within the european union).

    so i very much doubt (and to be clear i'm guessing) that apple and france telecom would be complying with the law by locking (the supposedly unlocked phone) in any way.
     
  5. Sobe thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #5
    Good point. I see some reports using the words locked and unlocked interchangeably with contract and contract-free.

    Which raises the question -- what would a contract-free iPhone in France look like and act in other countries.

    Pure speculation, but sometimes that can be fun.
     
  6. sananda macrumors 68020

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    #6
    what the original les echos article (referred to by market watch) says is that consumer regulations prohibit the sale of a product dependant on a particular service. if the phone is locked to france telecom, then it is dependant on that service since it does not function as a phone without it.

    so i think it is the same as selling locked and unlocked. if the les echos interpretation of consumer regulations is correct.
     
  7. zub3qin macrumors 65816

    zub3qin

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    #7
    I don't think it is a tough decision.
    France's population is not the important issue.
    How many people in France can/will pay 399 euro ($570) for a phone and then pay between $70 and $110 per month for service is what s important.

    The phone and the plans are more expensive there than here.... And the reality is that far less have disposable income for "luxuries" there than here in the US. So I'd wager that the actual sales lost in France is quite slim and certainly not worth selling unlocked phones for apple.

    Now if the US or China required unlocked phones, that is another story and Apple would succumb.
     
  8. marcol macrumors regular

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    #8
    Well if it was locked to Orange France and hadn't been activated with them it would probably look like any other unactivated iPhone (except the message telling you to activate it would be in French :))

    Where are those French lawyers when you need them!
     
  9. marcol macrumors regular

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    #9
    Thanks. If that's so I'd guess Apple would be left with the options of not selling phones in France or selling locked and unlocked iPhones, perhaps with the latter at a silly price (would that be legal?).
     
  10. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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  11. Sobe thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #11
    From the first NYT article cited above:

    Priceless.
     
  12. paulo999 macrumors member

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    #12
    Go on.
     
  13. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #13
    France has a history recently of restricting freedom of thought and enterprise.
    The movie and TV industry is a perfect example, they put a quota on how much foreign (US) content can be shown and distributed thus restricting the freedom of choice for the French consumer in an attempt to line the pockets of the struggling French film and TV industry.
    Mon Dieu!!
     
  14. paulo999 macrumors member

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    #14
    was that your point sobe?
     
  15. Sobe thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #15
    no, my point was that it was an amusing poke at the French.
     
  16. cube macrumors G5

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    #16
    It is to protect French culture, not out of economic interest.
     
  17. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #17
    You dare imply that America's Booming economy, superb foreign policy, and outstanding moral values might somehow ruin the french culture?:eek:

    :rolleyes:
    Does anyone have a way to block American culture in America?
     
  18. paulo999 macrumors member

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    #18
    Anyone with you on that?
     
  19. Sobe thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #19
    I don't know, ask the "anyone"
     
  20. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

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    #20
    Remarkably few, one would hope...
     
  21. cal6n macrumors 68000

    cal6n

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    #21
    Absolutely!

    How dare the French Government put the interests if its own people ahead of those of the global (read: American) multimedia corporations. What on Earth are they thinking of?
     
  22. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #22
    I dunno, it seems pretty clear that for now, Apple is going to put subscription income ahead of anything else.

    So it'll be like the high price they charged at the beginning... they'll go first for the countries where they can sell a locked phone and get at least a couple years' worth of royalties.

    Then, when those sales have fallen, and they've wrung the last penny out, they'll finally sell unlocked phones. Or maybe not. Maybe never.

    It's funny... if they'd instead come out with unlocked GSM and CDMA versions, then they could probably have sold an iPhone to everyone on the planet. But they're so locked into their iTunes income model, and the iPhone is after all, an iPod to them first.

    This works until/unless someone manages to come out with a better device. Since the iPod has mostly resisted this kind of attack, I think they feel the iPhone will as well.
     
  23. Sobe thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #23
    senses of humors surgically removed from post...must be some new setting.
     
  24. Gonzlobo Suspended

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    #24
    Somehow I'm sure France will surrender.
     
  25. sbrownla macrumors regular

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    #25
    Hahaha. You hit the nail on the head with this one. If our American government put the interests of Americans first, I dollar wouldn't be plummeting and our domestic industry wouldn't be on life support...

    But I think I missed something, and this is directed to everyone else, not cal6n... how did we get from discussing Apple product to the protection of French culture?

    The limitations on foreign films serve to protect it, sure, but a buggy first generation phone? Come on...

    Ugh, it's just a phone. They already have better phones in France anyway. Apple's just being greedy and trying to set an example with this whole revenue sharing, we won't unlock it crusade.

    Has Nokia had to deal with this over in france?
     

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