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French legislation requires sale of unlocked version of iPhone

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

Apple will have to release an unlocked version of the iPhone in France on 29 November. The agreement between Steve Jobs’ company and Orange – the operator responsible for selling the equipment on that market – was involved in some misunderstandings earlier this month as French telecommunications legislation prohibits mobile operators from selling phones attached to a single network without offering an alternative to unlock.

After a process of negotiations the two parties reached a consensus agreeing that Orange could sell two versions of the iPhone, one blocked and the other free from operator.

According to the Herald Tribune, the blocked version is expected to cost close to 393 euros while the free version will have a slightly higher price. On the other hand, users who want to see their cell phone unlocked before completing the mandatory six-month subscription must pay Orange a certain make-up.

According to the same newspaper, Orange does not publicly reveal whether the agreement with Apple implies the transfer of part of the revenues generated by services associated with the iPhone.

Steve Jobs’ company recently signed deals with O2 and T-Mobile for the distribution of the equipment in the UK and Germany. As yet details about a possible entry of the iPhone in the Portuguese market are not yet known.

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2007-09-17 – Exclusive of the iPhone in the Iberian Peninsula may be in the works between PT and Telefónica