France to be cut out of iPhone this year

Posted by Mark Raby

Paris (France) - Struggles with France's leading mobile service provider and even with French law may prevent the iPhone from providing customers with a "joyeux noel".

According to reports, French telecom provider Orange has been unable to come up with an agreement with Apple over the iPhone pricing plan.  Apparently Orange is quite unhappy with the cut that Apple wants to receive from monthly subscription payments.

Apple has reportedly asked Orange for 30% of all service revenue.  Although the mobile company is having a hard time swallow that deal, Apple's partner in the UK, O2, is rumored to be doling out 40% of its earnings to Apple.

Another taxing issue comes in the legal environment.  In France, mobile service providers must, by law, make phones available without a service contract.  That way consumers can simply swap out SIM cards from phone to phone.  So far Apple has reportedly not found a way to comply with that law.  This would lead to people from all over the globe being able to buy a French iPhone and using their own mobile service plan, with Apple getting nothing from that cost.

It had been reported earlier that Orange and Apple would bring to iPhone to France later this year.  Many were even expecting a joint announcement to include Orange when Apple revealed its UK plans.  For now, though, the French iPhone will remain on the backburner.