France Telecom’s Orange unit has said that it expects to sell nearly 100,000 iPhones by the end of 2007. In an interview with Europe 1 radio, France Telecom chief Didier Lombard predicted sales of 100,000 units by year’s end, while promising that Orange’s unlocked iPhone offering will be priced “significantly lower” than the 999€ T-Mobile in Germany is charging for the unlocked hardware.
Lombard also revealed some tariff pricing details, saying that a 24-month contract would start at 49 euros a month including “two hours” of voice time and 50 text messages, and that the price would be 4.50 euros more per month for a 12-month contract, the minimum term available from Orange. Analysts, meanwhile, remain skeptic about the iPhone in Europe.
Gontran Filet, a telecom industry consultant with Idate, said, “There’s an irrational side to a decision to buy an Apple trademarked iPhone which makes it difficult to predict sales.” The iPhone will launch in France on Thursday, November 29, and will sell for 399€..