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Orange prices up iPhone en France

Quelle surprise

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Orange has priced up the 3G iPhone: it'll cost French folk €149 ($234/£118) for the 8GB model, or €199 ($312/£158) for the 16GB version.

The handset will go on sale in France on 17 July, and those prices apply to new Orange customers who take out one of its dedicated iPhone airtime packages, or one of its Origimi Star, First or Jet bundles.

Other airtime packages are available, but punters will have to pay €199 ($312/£158) and €249 ($390/£198), for the 8GB and 16GB phones respectively, if they want one of those.

Orange Business Services customers will also be offered the 3G iPhone, but Orange isn't giving details until launch day.

The official iPhone tariff contains airtime bundles ranging from €49-149 ($77-234/£39-118) a month. Other packages start at €32 ($50/£25) a month.

Anyone who already owns an iPhone - specifically, people who bought one before 12 June - will get a new, 3G one for €99 ($155/£78) if they're willing to sign up for a two-year airtime contract. They'll also get to the head of queue on launch day, Orange owner France Telecom indicated.

The downside is that this isn't an up-front saving: it's a €100 ($157/£79) money-back deal that's time-limited to 31 October 2008.

Buying an iPhone for the first time will also require a 24-month sign-up, if you want the subsidised price.

Orange did not say how much it will offer for either an unlocked phone - which it has to offer, under French law - or for pay-as-you-go usage.

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