During its last PR raid throughout Europe, Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO, announced only two of the carriers that will be selling iPhone exclusively in Europe. Finally, an official statement about the third one is available. As expected, Orange will be selling the Apple iPhone 8GB devices in France.
You probably remember the rest of the chosen ones - besides O2, the European Apple clique is comprised of T-Mobile in Germany and O2 in the UK. The sales in France will go along with the same contract agreements as in Germany and UK. Customers willing to obtain the gadget will have to cough EUR399 but they will have to wait until 29th November 2007, while the "Euro" iPhone will start shipping in Germany and UK as early as the 9th November 2007. The unusual about the iPhone sales this time is that the French legislation forbids the carrier to sell only locked mobile handsets. So Orange is also expected to offer unlocked iPhones but at a different price (yet unknown, as you may have guessed).
This late announcement coincides with the iPhone Dev Team releasing the iPhone 1.1.1 version unlocking solution for free. Obviously hackers are not wasting any time and in the end it might turn into a game of cat and mouse where Apple would continue releasing locking software upgrades, while crackers will have a full-time job breaking them.
For those of you itching to see the iPhone live, you can have a look at our telepk 360-degree view or our iPhone video to quench your curiosity.