Further to the ruling by the French courts that Apple's Orange-only French deal was illegal, consumers across the channel can now pick up a contract-free iPhone 3G - but for a price.

French retailer FNAC is now selling a contract-free version of the black 8GB iPhone for 799 euros which works out at around £780, or $1100. Black or white 16GB models are fetching 899 euros.

The ruling from the French competition regulator overturned Apple's exclusive arrangement with Orange and followed a complaint from Bouygues Telecom, a rival operator in France.

In the UK, consumers can by an iPhone 3G on a pay as you go basis - O2 only - from £349.