Consumer Technology

France Telecom Unit to Sell Apple's iPhone


France Telecom will start marketing Apple's million-selling iPhone in France through its wireless arm Orange.

Thursday's announcement came days after Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs visited Britain and Germany to unveil similar deals with mobile operator O2 and Deutsche Telekom.

The iPhone, a combined cell phone-iPod media player that also can wirelessly access the Internet, will go on sale in all three countries in November in time for the holiday season.

The latest deal was announced by France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard during a conference in Hanoi.

Apple said last week that it had sold 1 million iPhones in the United States in the first 74 days it was on sale, shortly after slashing the price by a third.

The iPhone debuted in the United States on June 29, with service exclusively through AT&T.

France Telecom will be counting on the popular iPhone to raise sales, boosting its share of the cell phone market. Jobs said Tuesday his goal was to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008, representing 1% of the global handset market.

Officials with Orange would not say how much the phone will cost in France. Consumers in Britain will pay 269 pounds ($536) for the 8-gigabyte model - or about $139 more than what Apple charges in the United States. In Germany the phone will cost 399 euros ($553). Both European price tags include value-added tax.

The company cut the 8-gigabyte iPhone to $399, from $599, and discontinued the $499        4-gigabyte version. It apologized to those who had paid full price and offered $100 credits to early buyers.

Related Tags