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Submission + - iPhone Business Model Hits a Snag in France (engadget.com) 1

Serhei writes: "It seems like the iPhone might not be released in France by this holiday season, since France requires by law that all cell phones sold there must be obtainable in an unlocked version. Apple will not be able to do so, since it has concluded a 5-year exclusivity agreement with AT&T in the US which is practically guaranteed to stipulate that an unlocked iPhone cannot be obtainable anywhere in the world, lest people flock there to buy unlocked iPhones and bring them back to the US. (In return for this agreement Apple receives a large share of AT&T's monthly revenues from iPhone subscribers.) If the iPhone falls through in France, the country can join Belgium and a potentially long list of other countries with unlocking laws, whose Apple fans will have to make do with other, less Apple-y phones.

Note that there is currently no mention of the iPhone on the Apple France page."

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iPhone Business Model Hits a Snag in France

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  • Why doesn't Apple just raise the retail price of the iPhone to something like double or triple its current cost, and offer mail-in rebates of the difference for anyone who signs a 5-year contract plan with AT&T? Seems to me that would satisfy the requirements of the law, wouldn't it? The number of people who would still buy an iPhone without intending to sign a contract with AT&T would be few and far enough between that it would likely be no more consequential to them as a business than the peopl

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