Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/17/orange_denies_iphone_lock_claim/

Orange France says 'testicules' to unlocked-iPhone-not-unlocked claim

Of course you can use an unlocked iPhone anywhere, carrier states

By Tony Smith

Posted in Phones, 17th December 2007 11:08 GMT

Orange France has denied a claim that the unlocked iPhones it is offering are not actually unlocked but were simply set to work with any French carrier SIM card rather than, say, a SIM purchased in the UK.

The claim was made by website iPhone Atlas late last week. Without stating how it knew this to be the case, the site said Orange-unlocked handsets will only work with non-Orange SIM cards in France.

"In other words, you can’t take your French, 'unlocked' iPhone to Spain, the United States, or anywhere else, pop in a foreign SIM card, and make calls on a local carrier — you’re still stuck paying international roaming fees to your French carrier," the site claimed.

Nonsense, said Orange.

"Once legally (through Orange Customer Service) unlocked, the iPhone will operate with any SIM card, including foreign ones," a company spokesman subsequently told website iLounge. "But some applications like ‘Visual Voicemail’ may not work abroad."

The spokesman also claimed that far fewer than 20 per cent of the iPhone sold so far by Orange have been so unlocked. No great surprise, that, given the higher price of the unlocked handset - €749 ($1082/£536) to €399 ($576/£285) for the locked one - and the fast-moving efforts by hackers and coders to unlock the phone for free.

Orange actually charges €649 for an unlocked iPhone, plus a €100 unlocking fee if the process is carried out during the six months after the handset was purchased. After that, unlocking is free, Orange told Register Hardware last month.