French Apple/Orange deal to be announced this week?

Apple and Orange could finally make their partnership on the distribution of the iPhone in France publicly official this week, MacScoop states, citing reports quoting France Telecom's CEO.

Didier Lombard has confirmed to the French newspaper, Le R├ępublicain Lorrain, that Orange. France Telecom's subsidiary, has won the deal and suggested the phone will arrive in France by the end of November.

Lombard had previously stated to journalists (during the week the iPhone launched in the UK and Germany) that an agreement had been reached with Apple, but did not provide pricing or date information.

Since then rumours and reports have suggested that the two companies were struggling to reach an agreement. No further statements from either side, and lack of iPhone presence at the Paris Mac Expo, seemed to highlight problems.

Two theories have been put forward as to why the apparent delay; the first that France Telecom were not happy to agree to Apple's revenue sharing demands; and second that a legality in France meaning the iPhone would be forced to be "opened" to other operators after a certain time period had displeased Apple.


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