So you want a legally unlocked iPhone? Then don't go to Germany...
Official Orange pricing has emerged today ahead of the iPhone's official launch tomorrow and in stark contrast to the whopping €999 demanded by T-Mobile, an officially unlocked handset will cost €649 (£463) - 'only' €250 more than its €399 RRP with an 18 month contact.
Interestingly, should a user buy a standard iPhone they will have the option - under French law - to legally unlock their handset after six months. This will cost just €100, though you'll still be tied into your 18 month Orange contract presumably, unless you want an expensive paperweight until then. A further option: a PAYG Orange iPhone will set users back €549 (£391).
As for the contracts, they compare poorly to the UK starting at €49 (£34) increasing to €59, €79 and topping out at €119 (£84). These bring only 120, 180, 300 and 490 cross network minutes respectively but do provide matching amounts of free minutes at weekends. Access to 10,000 free WiFi hotspots is in there too, but SMS allowances are rubbish beginning at a meagre 50 messages per month and rising to 100, 150 and 1000 texts with each price jump. Data allowance is also curtailed to a strict 500MB per month.
All of which means we're likely to see a raft of imported, unlocked iPhones into the UK from France - perhaps people will even abandon their traditional channel hopping 'booze cruises' for 'unlocked iPhone cruises' (it may not have the same ring, but will likely prove far more lucrative).
Either which way, expect dissections of legally unlocked handsets at any minute. Hackers start your engines...