Print 79 comment(s) - last by lompocus.. on Nov 12 at 2:07 AM

Apple agrees to sell iPhones in France unlocked

On a previous blog at DailyTech, it was revealed that iPhones were invading France for the holiday season, after French carrier Orange struck a deal with Apple for distribution rights.

Now in a surprising twist, Apple and Orange will team up in France, and only in France, to offer the iPhone unlocked.

The move comes after Apple met a roadblock when its international policy of banning unlocking was challenged by French law.  A French telecommunications law, passed in 1998 states that manufacturers must offer to unlock consumers phones for a small fee for the first sixth months after release, and for free after that, as reported via French news site Les Echoes

The locked version of the phone will cost €399, but the unlocked version's price has not yet been announced by Apple.  It may cost significantly more, though as French law mandates, Apple must agree to sell the phones unlocked at no premium after six months.

In the U.S. there are no laws that explicitly state that locking a phone to a network is illegal, though recent class action suits have accused Apple and its U.S. carrier, AT&T, of violating U.S. antitrust and warranty laws.

Apple is very much against unlocking iPhones, probably due to the fact that it makes a large cut of the phone contract, as detailed in the upcoming UK release.  Apple loses this revenue when its phones are moved over other networks which do not give a cut of revenues to Apple.

Apple has gone as far as "bricking" iPhones with its new v1.1.1 firmware update, the primary point in the two class action suits.  Apple has in the past ardently opposed to the installation and development of unauthorized third party applications for its devices.  The update turns iPod Touches and iPhones with third party apps or unlocked iPhones into "iBricks," which are frozen in a state of limbo.

There is unlocking software available, which unfreezes the devices, but costs a whopping $100.  Still, some feel this is a small price to pay to save their iDevice from becoming a paperweight.  It is also cheaper than the solution proposed by Apple's spokeswoman to owner of "iBricks" -- to go buy a new iPhone.

Apple also has had to contend with recent reports of iFires, accusations of environmental misconduct, and another upcoming class action suit based on these allegations, which accuse Apple of using toxic materials in its iPhone.

Apple would not comment on whether its agreement to sell unlocked iPhones in France could be mirrored in the U.S., but it seems unlikely to do so, unless legally compelled to.

For now Apple will continue to wrestle with unlockers and legal issues in the U.S., but in France the news is "Vive le unlocking."

Update 10/18/2007:
Apple softened its position on third party software, according to a new letter by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.  In the letter Jobs praises third party developers and reveals that Apple will be offering them a software development kit in February.  He explains that the reason for the long delay before the SDK release is to protect the iPhone from "viruses and malware."

Unfortunately for some, he gave no indication that Apple would take measures to unbrick iPhones or iPod Touches which were bricked because of previous unauthorized third party applications.  He also did not state whether the next release of the firmware for the iPhone and iPod Touches would continue to lock the file system and turn phones with third party applications into iBricks.

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Wait for it, wait for it...
By MatthewAC on 10/17/2007 6:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
The iphones are now locked to the french langauge, so much for importing Apple fanboys ;).

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By KristopherKubicki on 10/17/2007 7:09:28 PM , Rating: 5
Nonsense. They'll just learn French.

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By lagomorpha on 10/18/2007 1:21:49 AM , Rating: 5
Wow that combination could result in a level of posh arrogance I am not ready to witness.

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By NicePants42 on 10/18/2007 9:06:25 AM , Rating: 5
iFart in your general direction!


RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By erikejw on 10/18/2007 10:39:55 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe you need to read this book too.

Teaching Americans
How to Behave Abroad

"Trying to combat anti-U.S. sentiment abroad, a campaign is under way to give the "ugly American" a makeover and improve the manners of business travelers overseas."

"We are broadly seen throughout the world as an arrogant people, totally self-absorbed and loud," said Keith Reinhard, chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide Inc"

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By Screwballl on 10/18/2007 11:59:11 AM , Rating: 3
So its a one way street? A good majority of non-citizens traveling or living within the US generally do not speak english or only know a few key phrases/words. So we are expected to go to their country and learn their language when their own people do not give us the same courtesy?

anyways this is off topic from the iPhoney... we will see if the unlocked phones can handle the updates Apple does and I suspect there will be third party apps that can change the language.

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By erikejw on 10/18/2007 1:35:21 PM , Rating: 4
It has 0% to do with language and 100% to do with personal behaviour.

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By rcc on 10/18/2007 2:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
lol, yes, Paris Hilton is our poster child.... From the Frankfurt airport "doesn't anyone speak English? Is everyone here stupid!".

It takes all kinds I guess, but some should just stay home. : )

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By lompocus on 11/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By afkrotch on 10/18/2007 8:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
That was the worst article I have read in my life and I have lost 10 minutes of my time, which I will never get back.

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By Hypernova on 10/18/2007 12:05:57 AM , Rating: 2
I not really into the unlocking thing but can't you flash English firmware into those unlocked French phones?

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By Flunk on 10/18/2007 12:12:36 AM , Rating: 2
Non, the firmware is what controls the sim card "locking" on the iPhone (and most other cell phones). What you could do it hack the French image by replacing all the strings with the versions from the English ROM. If it perfectly possible but I won't be spending my free time doing it.

RE: Wait for it, wait for it...
By Bertie on 10/18/2007 12:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree with Flunk.

First of all, there's no such think as a french firmware (that I know). The firmware is international, so the only thing you'd have to do is switch the language in the UI, like any other cellphone.

But however, even if you had a french and an english FW, the hardware is no different. If you want to properly unlock the iPhone, the best guess is that you have to write unlocking data in the EEPROM (as other phones, again). This is what "possibly" iPhoneSimFree does properly. This is not properly done by AnySim, which flashes the baseband (said simply, it modifies the firmware itself). For that reason, iPhoneSimFree "survives" updates of the FW while AnySim doesn't (+ your iphone might get bricked).

I expect that unlocked iPhones will have the EEPROM rewritten as well. AS a FW updates does not touch the EEPROM, you would be able to flash any firmware on these unlocked iPhone. So flashing an english FW over a french FW.

Note : that could be very good news for iPhoneSimFree customers, as they would be 100% certain that their phone would work with future updates (except the activation problem).

Source: (bottom of the page)

By pauldovi on 10/17/2007 6:50:11 PM , Rating: 1
LOL @ The French and their laws....

and they wonder why their economy is going anywhere.

" If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. "

- Reagan

RE: Heh
By KristopherKubicki on 10/17/2007 6:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a huge Reagan fan, but that's a brilliant quote.

RE: Heh
By pauldovi on 10/17/2007 7:00:46 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah neither are the French. :)

RE: Heh
By bupkus on 10/17/2007 8:09:25 PM , Rating: 4
21st century
glib = brilliance

RE: Heh
By wordsworm on 10/17/2007 11:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
How about this one from Bush?
'According to Timesman Jack Malvern, liberal politician Shirley Williams -- also known as the Baroness Williams of Crosby -- recently recounted to an audience in Brighton that "my good friend Tony Blair" told her the following anecdote:"Blair, Bush and [French President] Jacques Chirac were discussing economics and, in particular, the decline of the French economy. 'The problem with the French,' Bush confided to Blair, 'is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.' "
Courtesy of:

That's just too hilarious. Apparently they're now in denial he ever said it, but it's still just hilarious. France *is* only #6 on the list.

RE: Heh
By Florent on 10/18/2007 4:41:40 AM , Rating: 1
"entrepreneur" was first used in French in 1253.

RE: Heh
By wordsworm on 10/18/2007 6:00:00 AM , Rating: 1
"entrepreneur" was first used in French in 1253.
Perhaps you ought to look again. Its root comes from 'entreprendre' which means to undertake. It wasn't until the 19th century that it was coined in its current form. So, the joke, of course, is that English doesn't have a word for Entrepreneur. That's what makes Bush's comment, if he said it at all, funny.

RE: Heh
By xdrol on 10/17/2007 7:18:07 PM , Rating: 5
You are actually criticizing a law that benefits the consumer alone? You must have massive amounts of Big International Corporation stocks.

RE: Heh
By Scrogneugneu on 10/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Heh
By HaZaRd2K6 on 10/17/2007 10:36:35 PM , Rating: 4
Right... 'cause the U.S. economy is whistling right along.

// Waits for the inescapable down-voting.

RE: Heh
By wordsworm on 10/17/2007 11:19:47 PM , Rating: 1
Right... 'cause the U.S. economy is whistling right along.
What planet are you from? George Bush has been a God-send to the wealthiest .25% of America.

RE: Heh
By CSMR on 10/18/2007 12:16:28 AM , Rating: 1
This issue is completely orthogonal to tax and subsidies. The US economy would benefit from regulation in certain markets either uncompetitive (health) or inefficient (communications) just at the same time as it benefits from low tax.

RE: Heh
By Proteusza on 10/18/2007 5:23:24 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah I'd much rather have corporations like Apple run riot and charge exorbitant prices.

Or corporations like Intel keeping their competition from selling.

Or Dell using bait and switch tactics.

Or Enron, doing whatever it was they did.

Or Cisco, evading tax.

Yes, corporations are so honourable, we should let them do whatever they want.

RE: Heh
By MarkDavisxxx on 10/18/2007 2:50:30 PM , Rating: 3
Come on...who isn't for letting free markets run their course. I'm all for a future ruled by Brawndo. Now with's got what plants crave! ;)

Sounds like good news to me
By bernardl on 10/17/2007 9:08:21 PM , Rating: 5
I find it pretty amazing that some people manage to criticize a French law that goes further in free market opening than its US counterpart...

What these people don't understand is that free market doesn't mean "lack of gov control" it basically means "lack of monopoly".

Free market was always meant by its designers to be a tool aimed at benefiting the consumers, it only got tranformed much later into a tool aimed at leveraging the profit of large corporations. Don't be mistaken, that is just a hi-jack and this French law puts things a little bit straight.


RE: Sounds like good news to me
By Bigjee on 10/17/2007 9:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't have said it better. Cheers mate. Take care

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By artemicion on 10/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds like good news to me
By CSMR on 10/18/2007 12:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
Separating phone hardware and network contracts will lead to greater competition. They are naturally separate things and forcing them to be separate increases choice and comparability between products (can compare phone to phone, contract to contract).

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By InternetGeek on 10/18/2007 12:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
I can agree with you that Free Markets are about not being regulated. But we are falling into a weird situation on which some solutions are good, present case being more competition, because it benefits corporations only. For example, today corporations have made it a point that the only way they will innovate is by allowing them to build a monopoly: 700mhz spectrum, broadband, cell phone operators, etc.

We know that monopolies of any type are bad, but corporations are making it look like their business lies in the transport used to deliver their service, and not on the value they provide for their service. My example being that of allowing a company to buy a radioelectric spectrum, another one being allowed to lock a phone to a certain provider, or another one being made into a forced standard for providing broadband connections.

If the necessity if for people in inner suburbs to get connected, the solution is not allowing only one company to provide the service. The solution is having a group of companies poll resources to build the infrastructure to provide their service and then compete for dominance in the market. It's best for them as they will be able to deliver a service and it's best for consumers because companies will keep each other honest, unless they form a cartel.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By teckytech9 on 10/18/2007 1:45:23 AM , Rating: 2
Freemarkets strives to bring choice to the consumer. Freedom of choice leads to greater innovation, product differentiation, competition, and fair prices of goods and services.
Where totalitarism and monopolistic control exists, freedom of choice is limited.

It can be argued that purchasing the iPhone in the US market and the behavior of Apple with iBricking is against the free market rules established in trade and commerce. One must
examine in detail the products introduction, pricing schemes, implicit and explicit warranties, firmware upgrade code, press releases, corporate statements, etc., to see that the behavior of Apple is not justified.

IMO any high tech gadget should always have a switch built into it where an unsuccessful firmware upgrade will revert itself to its initial factory settings. A firmware upgrade that does intentional harm and does not allow the user to regain control is defective and should be sent back to the factory for replacement irregardless if it was unlocked and/or had an unauthorized installed third party application.

France is an example where Apple plays a different tune according to the rules established by that particular country. Its sad that the tune played in the US made the end-users angry at the cost of satisfying Wallstreet on the numbers game.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By piroroadkill on 10/18/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds like good news to me
By rcc on 10/18/2007 3:26:46 PM , Rating: 1
and if it were, it would mean the opposite of what he intended.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By teckytech9 on 10/19/2007 1:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
"regardless" instead of "irregardless";)

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By derdon on 10/18/2007 3:48:08 AM , Rating: 3
The iPhone situation is not comparable to games on PS3/Xbox/Wii since the iPhone technically works on all carriers without further modifications as all adhere to a standard, whereas games need to be adjusted and optimized towards every platform specifically.

When freemarket means "no regulations", then freemarkt is basically economic anarchy where the most powerful wins. What happens is warlordism (monopolies) and an unhealthy distribution of wealth through exploitation and providing a breeding ground for social conflicts.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By porkpie on 10/18/2007 8:51:11 AM , Rating: 2
When freemarket means "no regulations", then freemarkt is basically economic anarchy where the most powerful wins
Not the most powerful. The one whose brings the best product at the lowest price. Inefficient companies are forced out of business, and the resources they consume put to better use. Thats why its the best possible system.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By Proteusza on 10/18/2007 9:03:38 AM , Rating: 1
Tell that to AMD.

For years they had the better product, yet Intel restricted them.

Before you say that hasnt been proven yet, Intel has already been found guilty in Japan, I think the EU also delivered a verdict against them.

So, your free and fair market is a great idea in theory.

In practice, nobody fights fair.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By Proteusza on 10/18/2007 9:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
If a free market is what you are after, why allow Apple to impose artificial restrictions on the use of its product?

Surely, how the phone is used is of no concern to Apple, as long as Apple gets paid? So, why then should Apple expend extra effort to lock its phone to other networks? We know the answer of course - part of the exclusivity deal means Apple gets money both from the sale of the handset, and the monthly contract subscription, hence why they dont want customers to be able to switch.

Now, your analogy about computer games is simply useless and incorrect. I'm a programmer myself, and let me tell you, choice of platform is fundamentally critical to a games development, and has nothing to do with it being "locked".

Your analogy is akin to saying a company who develops a car powered by bio diesel should be forced to allow it to run on gasoline/petrol, or worse, water. It requires fundamental changes to the engine in both cases, requiring significant investment.

In the case of the iPhone, it requires no investment whatsoever.

The "importance" of a market should have no bearing whether it should be regulated. thats like saying we shouldnt prosecute burglars because murder is a more serious crime.

RE: Sounds like good news to me
By bernardl on 10/18/2007 5:48:05 PM , Rating: 3
I fail to see how exclusivity arrangements between cell phone manufacturers and cellular providers implicates the same concerns as traditional monopolies. The market that the AT&T/Apple agreement covers can hardly be considered large enough or important enough to warrant regulation: AT&T is not the only cellular provider in the country, and the iPhone is not the only smart phone in the market. Even if I were to concede that the iPhone is the only "smart phone" (I think "luxury phone" would be better terminology), it isn't something as important, as say, energy, or, you know, having a job, to justify regulation. And it isn't as if there is something peculiar about the "luxury phone" market that prohibits other companies from manufacturing an alternative version of the iPhone (compared to the peculiarities of the energy market - the infrastructure costs I mentioned above).

The French law is not specifically about the iPhone, it is about the free association of providers and hardware for the benefit of the consumers.

It doesn't make sense to enforce opening of the market to several operators - an action clearly meant at increasing competition in favour of the users - and then to allow one hardware manufacturer to lock its users into a given operator whose offering might - and will - be more expensive than the competition.

It doesn't take much to understand that all phone manufacturers would see this as a way to increase their revenue thanks to the possibility to entice one operator into providing exlusivity support (while paying back royalties to the phone operator and charging more to consumers). Soon, the 5 best phones on the market would become impossible to purchase without a pre-negociated operator package whose price will be higher than the natural market price.

This does introduce an artificial market segmentation into which better hardware means higher usage cost.

The French law prevents this effect and forces hardware manufacturers to compete in terms of hardware alone. This will benefit the consumers in that they will have lower communications cost. It will also benefit hardware manufactuers in forcing them to compete in terms of pure hardware specs which will make them stronger against future competition.


By Shining Arcanine on 10/18/2007 7:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
It is meant to go either way and thus enable things to be optimal. It is not meant to mean that the government is supposed to do everything that ensures competition at all times. For example, what happens if "competition" harms the quality of a product, like what happened with Windows PCs after the federal judiciary forced Microsoft to stop restricting what OEMs could put on PCs. Do you have any idea how much junk now is on PCs because of that? The same goes for movies (see Ronald Reagan's autobiography) and the price of gasoline (i.e. the lawsuit against Standard Oil).

You statement that free market economics means "lack of monopoly" ignores the fact that people create monopolies simply by selecting the best products. In such circumstances, there is no inherent need for competition and competition created by deliberate government action only serves to harm, rather than help, as it dictates what people can and cannot buy.

for once, the French is victorious
By dflynchimp on 10/17/2007 6:56:03 PM , Rating: 3
mmmkay, looks like we need something of that sort here too

RE: for once, the French is victorious
By retrospooty on 10/17/2007 7:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
How long is the ATT exclusivity period? We wont see anything until that is over.

RE: for once, the French is victorious
By oab on 10/17/2007 7:32:48 PM , Rating: 3
IIRC, it's 3 or 4 years.

Just in time for the court case to work it's way through the system.

By retrospooty on 10/17/2007 9:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
Dang... 3-4 years for this version, or all versions. I would assume we will see yearly updates - iPhone 2 in 2008 etc. If its all AT&T in the US, then the door is wide open for Nokia, RIMM, Palm and Moto with the other (better) carriers. Tehy will catch up quickly with the UI, and thier smartphones are already better (except the UI)

RE: for once, the French is victorious
By Samus on 10/18/2007 12:03:20 AM , Rating: 3
France has one of the most citizen-friendly governments in the world. At least they have something going for them...

RE: for once, the French is victorious
By Florent on 10/18/2007 4:47:13 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe you should come and live here ! You would be surprise to discover how many things are going well. For instance, the risk to be shot in the street or at school is close to zero. Close your eyes, open your mind, the world is big and worth discovering...

RE: for once, the French is victorious
By theapparition on 10/18/2007 9:25:10 AM , Rating: 3
Sounds like paradise. Think I'll move there and get a job.

Oh wait, doesn't France have on of the highest unemployment rates in Europe??? Aren't there immigrant riots?

Think I'll stay right where I'm at.

RE: for once, the French is victorious
By Bertie on 10/18/2007 12:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
"immigrant riots" ?

I think you watch TV (I'd say CNN) too much. Big stories sell better and so having headlines "RIOTS IN PARIS" is good for business.

Not to minimize what happened two years ago in France but I am living in Paris and the only riots I saw were on TV. Not in the streets, I mean. Actually they were in the suburbs. Places that I wouldn't recommand you to visit, and why would you want to, anyway?

By 1078feba on 10/18/2007 1:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
That's like saying that you live on Manhattan and didn't see the massive riots in Harlem.

The French policy of "assimilation - separate but equal" has been an utter failure. Thus Sarkozy gets elected because at least a plurality of French citizens want someone in office who actually knows how to use the big stick, not just how to threaten people with it.

And yeah, the French sure know how to live, but it's a conscious choice to live that way and put up with the attendant problems. Sky high unemployment, comparatively. A stagnant economy. Distinct lack of upward social mobility. Gov't attitude that totally dissuades capital investment. And Brussels, can't forget Brussels. It's like Europe's own little version of the UN, only with actual, statutory power...*shudder*.

If the French want to coast on their culture, so be it, no problem with that. And let's face it, it's a stunning country with fantastic food and wine. But pls refrain from looking down your collective Gallic nose at America.

My French great grandparents had a name for jobs in America such as working at McDonalds:


RE: for once, the French is victorious
By Spivonious on 10/18/2007 9:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
All I know is the huge mass of beggars that harass English-speaking tourists in Paris. It really ruined my whole opinion of that city.

By 1078feba on 10/18/2007 1:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but those beggars only work a 35 hour work week, so it's all good...

[Weird] People are attached to the phone
By InternetGeek on 10/17/2007 7:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Apple should take advantage of the fact that people are more attached to the phone than the plan. People will change plans from evening to evening if its a better deal for them. Just come to terms with all GSM operators out there and offer the iPhone under plans. People will buy it, operators get to sell their plans plus a premium because its an iPhone, and Apple sells more phones.

But maybe that would destroy the aura about the iPhone and force Apple to sell it cheaper. Something completely against how they do business.

By KristopherKubicki on 10/17/2007 7:48:55 PM , Rating: 5
If everyone could have an iPhone, no one would want it.

By Bigjee on 10/17/2007 9:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
And i suppose corporate monopolization is the way forward?

Its in the best interests of the consumer ( and seriously thats wat i care abt) to have unlocked phones.Locking phones shows that companies want to secure money from ways other than selling there products. What Apple and AT&T , Orange r doing is trying to cover each others asses and trying to milk the consumer for every penny he has. I mean it cost around 100 USD to keep an iphone with ATT plan.
With monthly fees of that sort it was only a matter of time and not if the iphone with be unlocked. I was so happy that V1.0.2 F/W was hacked. It's Natures way to stop greedy corporate monopolization. And also thank you again to the iphone Dev Team and others who made this possible.

By geno24 on 10/17/2007 11:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Oh no, it's Syndrome! Where's Jack-Jack?

By Justin Case on 10/18/2007 4:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't make much sense. Everyone "can" have an N95 or E90 (either of which is superior to the iPhone in pretty much every way - price included), and that's doesn't stop (some) people wanting them, even if not everyone can afford them.

I fail to see how limiting a phone model to a specific carrier makes it any more desirable (on the contrary). That deal exists to increase Apple's mid-term profits, not their sales or their "aura".

Just a lingual nitpick but...
By Valtiel on 10/17/2007 8:52:03 PM , Rating: 5
Isn't the term "Viva la..." a Spanish one? I think to say the same in French is "Vive la..."

RE: Just a lingual nitpick but...
By Kode on 10/17/2007 9:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
entirely correct, "viva" is not french, it's "vive la France"

anyway, this makes things easier. It's possible they lock the language, but if apple makes a firmware which is unlocked, I don't think it will take long to get on other Iphones on the world.

RE: Just a lingual nitpick but...
By Omega215D on 10/19/2007 1:44:34 AM , Rating: 2
Vive l'unlocking... The e/a is dropped when the word it's being used for starts off with a vowel.

Now to find unlocking in French...

what would happen if......
By hobbes7869 on 10/18/2007 8:11:25 AM , Rating: 1
All of the American Companies simply refused to capitulate to the European Demands? Would they be allowed to export the items to these countries, or would they be banned? What would happen if they simply refused to pay any fines? what power does the EU and/or the individual countries have over a U.S. Company, in all reality?

RE: what would happen if......
By darkpaw on 10/18/2007 8:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
If they want to do business in those markets, they have to play by their rules. Pretty simple really, if the cost of dealing with European regulations is less then the profit made from doing business there then its worth it. If its not, then they just won't do business there.

Its no different here. If companies want to import items into the US, they have to meet our rules and regulations.

RE: what would happen if......
By tspinning on 10/18/2007 9:11:39 AM , Rating: 2
yes, like China, importing all those fine goods that are up to our laws, regulations, and standards, both in final product quality, and also in terms of manufacture...


RE: what would happen if......
By darkpaw on 10/18/2007 10:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
If they don't meet our regulatations, look whats happens.. the companies involved lose millions on recalls because they didn't follow the rules to begin with.

Viva ?
By ZoZo on 10/17/2007 9:35:03 PM , Rating: 5
We don't say "Viva" in France. That's Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

In french it's "Vive", as in "Vive le débloquage".

By NICOXIS on 10/17/2007 10:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
In Chile laws already forbid phones attached to just one company, unlocking is completely allowed. Good to hear that other countries are on the same path.

RE: Unlocking
By myocardia on 10/18/2007 6:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
Great, now there are only 192 countries left, before we actually might get to choose, here in the good 'ol US of A. I just can't wait. Maybe one of these decades, we'll actually get at least one politician that knows the difference between honesty and money handed to him under the table, or am I just dreaming again?

This is going to complicate those updates...
By Darkmatterx76 on 10/18/2007 1:52:32 AM , Rating: 2
I guess Apple will now have to make sure that their patches can recognise the different versions or they could end up ibricking all of France. :)

By Amiga500 on 10/18/2007 5:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
The french won't be too worried about that...

after all, it'll mean they'll have trendy ibricks to throw in the next strike...

By MegaHustler on 10/17/2007 8:10:16 PM , Rating: 3
We have pretty much the same law in Denmark.

The mandatory minimum length on new subscriptions (like cell plans) is limited to six months, after which you can cancel it and get the unlock code for your phone for free.

Consumer protection law also requires phone companies to tell you the total minimum cost of the phone, plus the plan for the mandatory minimum period (always six months), before you buy the phone. Actually every ad for a phone with a mandatory plan must show the total minimum cost.

The ultimate pun....
By Proteusza on 10/18/2007 5:21:31 AM , Rating: 3
We cant compare this situation to that in the US though.

Because it would be comparing Apples to Oranges.

Apple and Orange will team up in France

Ha ha!

The law is not exactly as you say
By Bertie on 10/18/2007 12:30:29 PM , Rating: 3
Being French I thought I could give you some light about the french law that applies here.

There are two things:
First, you cannot "link" sales of two different products. This is to protect customers : you cannot force a customer to buy one thing together with something else only. You have to propose the option of buying the two things separately from each other. In the case of the iPhone, you should be able to buy the iPhone alone, unlocked, and not linked to any operator. Then Orange can have an exclusive agreement with Apple to sell it at a discount price.

So when Apple is mentioning the price of 399 euros, according to french law, Orange is in fact paying the difference between the yet-to-be-announced unlocked-iPhone price and the 399 euros. I expect that Orange will give you a refund when you will subscribe to their plan, otherwise you'll have two lineups of iPhones in stores, one for locked iPhones and one for unlocked ones ... weird!

The second part of the law (not sure if it is the same) is that after six month, any operator MUST unlock your phone for free if you request it. This resulted in a very big secondary market of phones in France, as you can subscribe to a new voice plan, receive a new phone (heavily discounted) but still use your "old" phone from previous plan for calling, then unlock the new phone after 6 months (for free) and sell it on eBay... thus lowering the overall cost of the plan.

I hope I was able to clarify the issue.


Isn't the UK Law the Same?
By darkblueslider on 10/17/2007 7:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
Am i wrong in thinking the UK has the same, or a very similar Law? I'm pretty sure that ISP's are obliged to provide an unlock code on request (For a 'reasonable' Fee). Although, its not free after 6 months as in France.

Of Course - being able to get it unlocked After having signed up for a 18 month £35 contract isn't of much use, is it?

By StraightPipe on 10/17/2007 9:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
Really they are pro-rating their Early Termination Fees (normally $175).

It's supposed to happen sometime next year.

By crystal clear on 10/18/2007 6:47:33 AM , Rating: 2
Apple would not comment on whether its agreement to sell unlocked iPhones in France could be mirrored in the U.S., but it seems unlikely to do so, unless legally compelled to.

Well get ready for some updating on this-

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs said on Wednesday that outside developers will be allowed to create programs for the iPhone, changing a policy that had angered many.

Blocking outsiders from making programs that would run easily on the iPhone has been one of a series of restrictions that have annoyed users, even leading to some lawsuits.

Jobs, in comments on Apple's Web site, said a kit for developers still will not be available until February, as the company works out how to open up the phone without exposing it to malicious programs.

"We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones," Jobs said on the Web site at

Third Party Applications on the iPhone
Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

By lompocus on 10/18/2007 10:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
Who the hell cares about the french? The only way a company will do anything is if the US governemtn (US w00T!!!) deems it necessary, under penalty if they don't comply.

I mean, what's the french percentage of apple's market? Actually, what's europe's percentage of market compared to US+canada+mexico? (cough*US is still like 70-80% of italong *cough)

Freedom Phones!
By GreenEnvt on 10/18/2007 7:03:36 AM , Rating: 1
Well after all the idiocity of "Freedom Fries" and the like, I guess we should call these Freedom Phones.

Go France!

Apple isn't seeing the big picture.
By gochichi on 10/24/2007 4:45:29 PM , Rating: 1
They should just sell them for whatever they think is a fair price, and forget these silly contracts. Say $500.00 ... that's not bad. When you sell one model of mass produced e-junk for $500.00 who needs to worry about milking every red cent off of each one... just sell more, VASTLY more.

I think it's short sighted, they should sell them unlocked or with rebates through providers.

Can you imagine minting yourself $200.00 a box just as fast as you can make them? Apple is definitely sitting pretty one way or another, I just wish it were the other.

The thing that I really dislike is that these keys to unlock these phones are $100.00 ... that's just armed robbery. Apple would be smart to collect this money themselves instead of letting 3rd parties make that kind of money on their backs.

They are doing the right thing to open it up to 3rd party development, and they need to unlock them. These are decent little devices, but they could be a whole new platform. There could be desktops, laptops, and iPhones... as comptuer platforms... so yes, I think they are thinking too small entirely.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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