French iPhones will be unlocked

I was interested to read on one of the French newswires at the weekend that Orange France has confirmed that iPhones sold on its network for around the 400 euros mark - with a contract attached - will be network unlocked.

This contrasts with the UK, where O2 is reportedly considering network locking its iPhones, something it hasn't done with its contract handsets for several years.

I suspect, however, that Orange France will heavily customise the software on its iPhone handsets when they ship at the end of November.

If, for example, Orange locks the GPRS/EDGE APN the handset dials for the mobile Internet, it could cause problems when using the mobile outside of France on another network.

Voice calls would be okay, but mobile data - the value-added aspect of the iPhone - would be scuppered.

All clever stuff, and modifying the locked APN/mobile data settings on the iPhone is going to be a real pig as no-one's had to go into this much depth on the Apple handset before...