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Orange to offer unlocked iPhones for €749

€250 less than T-Mobile wants

Updated Orange France will sell Apple's iPhone to consumers who don't want to be tied to the carrier, provided they cough up €749 for the handset - €250 less than T-Mobile Germany's unlocked iPhones cost.

Orange said it will offer four iPhone-oriented price plans ranging from €49 to €119 per month. Data usage is capped at 500MB a month, and the carrier admitted that "modem access, VoIP, P2P and [bizarrely] newsgroup usage is strictly forbidden", though that's over Edge connections rather than the handset's built-in Wi-Fi link.

Buy an iPhone off Orange with a plan and it'll cost you €399. If you want an alternative tarrif, the phone will cost €549.

The €649 iPhone is described as the cost "without a plan", which simply means it's being sold without a SIM. Orange said that actually unlocking the thing will cost a further €100.

Update Orange just told us that the €100 fee only applies for the first six months of iPhone ownership - after that the process is free of charge.

We're awaiting clarification from Orange, but assuming the €100 unlocking fee is in addition to the €649, it still makes Orange's unlocked iPhone considerably cheaper than the €999 one T-Mobile is offering its German customers. The €749 Orange wants works out at around £536 if Brits fancy popping to Paris to pick one up.

French law prevents carriers from tying handsets exclusively to their networks - consumers have to be able to move to a different network provider and take their phones with them.

The iPhone goes on sale in France tonight.

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