Apple fought the law and the law won. It turns out lots of money doesn’t grant you the ability to do whatever you want, and, as a result, Apple has to comply with the law, France’s law.
Yesterday, Apple announced that France will receive the iPhone on November 29, 2007. In the press release, Apple only mentioned one model of the iPhone, the 8GB version, which will sell for €399.
Apple made no mention of an unlocked iPhone, but, if we’re not mistaken, French law requires phone makers to sell unlocked versions of any locked handsets.
We’re not great French speakers here at Blorge, but I just happen to know some basic French and a lot of Spanish, which happens to be very similar to French. In reading both the translated version and the original version, I’ve come to following conclusion.
Le groupe n’a pas souhaité communiquer le prix du téléphone "nu". La législation française prévoit en effet l’obligation pour l’opérateur de vendre un téléphone seul si par ailleurs il est vendu couplé à un abonnement, ce qui sera le cas de l’iPhone.
…and it’s machine translated version…
The group did not want to communicate the price of the phone "naked". The French legislation provides for the obligation of the operator to sell the phone only if it is also sold coupled with a subscription, which will be the case with the camera.
The group did not want to discuss the price of the phone "naked" (unlocked without subscription). French legislation requires the operator to sell the phone on its own if it is also to be sold coupled with a subscription.
In searching for answers, it turns out Engadget Mobile wrote up a piece on the very same article, confirming the information.
So we now know that Apple’s giving France a very different model of the iPhone. Now I’d like to mention a piece of information I discovered a few months ago.
Back in July, Ittai Kidron, an analyst for CIBC world markets said this:
…checks suggest Apple is actually looking to introduce a 3G version of the iPhone for the U.S. market in November, ahead of the holiday season and earlier than currently expected.
At the time, Kidron believed Apple was looking to introduce a new model of the iPhone to the US in November, which now turns out to be the same month that France gets the iPhone!
If France gets an unlocked iPhone, why not the US too? Why not add 3G while they’re at it, making the iPhone the device it’s truly meant to be. That very acceptable but currently $599 price slot is looking very empty right now, and I think Apple has its sights set on filling the hole.
Sure, it’s speculation, but I’m just connecting the dots. Oh yeah, don’t be surprised if Verizon gets the iPhone in 2008 either.