To sell its iPhones in France, Apple had to offer two versions: One at standard pricing, locked to carrier partner Orange, and another, “unlocked,” which costs a lot more but works with any GSM wireless network.
Today, Didier Lombard, the head of Orange parent France Telecom, told the AP that the carrier has sold “very, very few” unlocked iPhones without a contract. That’s good news for Apple, because they only get a monthly service kickback for iPhone buyers who also subscribe to Orange. We don’t know how big Apple’s bounty from Orange is, but in the U.S., analysts estimate Apple could make as much as $18 per sub, per month from exclusive carrier partner AT&T.
Lombard also said Orange’s iPhone sales were going “very well,” but didn’t offer any sales figures. So hard to tell how France fits into Steve Jobs’ announcement that Apple has sold 4 million iPhones since they went on sale last June.
See Also: An Unlikely Macworld Winner: Boston Startup Skyhook Wireless
The Macworld Flipside: Apple’s iPod Sales Growth Slowing
Macworld: Apple Has Sold 4 Million iPhones
France’s Orange’s 70,000 iPhones: Below Expectations
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