With the French iPhone launch just days away, the nation’s Apple-partnered wireless carrier is speaking up about its iPhone sales goals. Orange has announced that it expects to push 100,000 iPhones out its doors by the end of this year – merely a month after the iPhones launch on November 29. Orange Wireless’s CEO, Didier Lombard, stated that he expects sales numbers to reach “a little under 100,000” by December 31 – amounting to approximately 3,000 iPhones being sold every day.
And, to help move more iPhones than its European counterparts in Germany, Lombard has promised that Orange will be selling unlocked iPhones at a price that’s significantly lower” than the 999 Euro ($$1,485 USD) price tag that T-Mobile German is charging for their iPhone. Recall that the iPhone’s future in France was put in jeopardy due to French telecom regulations that required all wireless carriers to offer unlocked versions of their handset.
We think it makes sense that France’s Orange would offer the unlocked version of the iPhone at a lower price-point than Germany’s T-Mobile. It seems that T-Mobile is only offering the unlocked iPhone to comply with a temporary court-ordered injunction, which T-Mobile is actively seeking to get overturned – so unlocked iPhones in Germany are something of a stop-gap solution, and is perhaps even discouraged from being purchased through the incredibly high price. In France, however, Orange will have to offer the unlocked version of the iPhone without question, and so will likely be giving customers more incentive to buy the iPhone, locked or unlocked, from Orange.
Orange’s subsidized (read: locked) iPhone will command 399 Euro and will require a 2-year contract that starts at 49 Euro per month for 120 minutes and 50 SMS text messages. Interestingly, customers opting for a 1-year contract will initially pay the same price for the handset, but will be charged about 4.50 Euro more per month for service. We’d love to see this sort of tiered-contract offering from US carriers – it would be easier to pay a few bucks more per month than to shell out a couple hundred more dollars upfront in order to keep contracts down to a reasonable length. It’d be great to pay the same amount for the cellphone and just pay an extra $8 per month in return for a 1-year contract.
[Via: Apple Insider]