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Orange to follow O2, T-Mobile footsteps and subsidise French iPhones

French news outlet, Les Echos, reported that Orange officials are mulling plans to subsidise the French iPhone following less than stellar sales figures in France and spectacular results from O2 across the Channel when subsidies were applied.

There are reports that two France Telecom executives - which owns Orange - will meet with Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, at Apple HQ in California; something that Orange has denied, saying that everything is running as planned.

According to the newspaper's sources, around 100,000 iPhones have been sold by Orange, half what O2 achieved and 50 percent more than T-Mobile in Germany.

Apple already sells an unlocked version of the iPhone in France for 649 Euros, in order to comply with the law of the land but that was not enough to enthuse potential customers.

Sales of O2 and Carphone Warehouse iPhones doubled after the 8GB iPhone model was discounted by £100.

Rumours have also cropped up down under where a rumour running wild Australia's Mactalk Forums which says that Apple will use the Aussies to sell out unlocked 3G iPhones but at a premium.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.