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Apple And Orange Negotiating About Lowering The Cost Of The French iPhone

Apple is currently in negotiations with French wireless carrier Orage about lowering the cost of the French iPhone, according to a report from French business daily Les Echos.

As reported in the French paper, iPhones in France are currently priced at €399 ($629). However the difference would be that Orange would begin subsidising the handset based upon the monthly cost of the contract users would take out, which up until now - and contrary to practices in other European countries where the iPhone is sold - they have not done.

According to Les Echos, Apple is disappointed with sales figures for the cellphone in France, 100,000 handsets of which have been sold since it went on sale there. Takeup of the iPhone generally in Europe has been less enthusiastic than in the US, perhaps because 3G networks (and the handsets to take advantage of them) are more common and to some degree expected among European users.

As a result, Apple are encouraging all carriers to further subsidise the initial cost of the handset to boost sales, which some are seeing as a way to clear first-generation iPhones before the 3G version’s imminent launch.

Orange, however, is content with the current pricing, telling the paper that there is “‘no question of changing the business model of the iPhone” and that “everything is going well”, revealing that the carrier obviously had lower sales expectations than the manufacturer did.

The 8GB iPhone has recently seen its price slashed in the UK, from £269 to £269.