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

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 …


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  1. s
    Thumb Down

    650 for an unlocked phone + 100 to unlock it within 6 months

    Sounds like it's very locked to me... Why do I have to contact Orange service dept to unlock a phone sold as unlocked.

  2. A J Stiles

    Buy in Spain or Belgium

    You would do best to buy your iPhone in Spain or Belgium, where locking phones to networks at all is illegal.

  3. daniel
    Jobs Horns

    locked and unlocked

    If the phone is sold with a subscription, by French law, the operator has to provide a free unlock code after 6 months of subscription.

    If you want the unlock code beforehand, you can either pay them a supplement of 100 € or break it yourself over internet (probably about 10 €...).

    If the phone is sold unlocked, then there is no limit on the phone, otherwise the operator would be breaking the law, as a subsidised phone is only available with a subscription, and this is considered a "linked sale", which is illegal in france if you do not supply an unlinked option.

  4. Ryan Stewart

    I love it.

    Charge you double the price of a phone that isnt subsidised in the first place for the right to actually own it instead of renting it from the carrier. Its brilliant! They probably make more money off of you doing that than if you actually signed up for service with them.

  5. jubtastic1


    Having paid double for the unlocked variety are the phones guaranteed to be safe from brickage after running an iTunes supplied firmware update?

  6. mohan Paul

    Strange that govts. unlink commercial services but not govt services

    Its strange that French, Belgian and Spanish govts. all want commercial services unlinked from handsets in the case of mobile operators, but yet their own citizens can't get a govt. service from another government nearby.

    For example if its cheaper to register the purchase of a home in Belgium, why then does the French citizen have to use whatever French govt. agency that provides that service.

    Do you think governments will also exist in a marketplace or do they all want to protect themselves, their tax collections and jobs by linking their services to just their citizens.

  7. andrew Sheridan

    either orange lied to you or me...

    I live in Lyon and purchased an iPhone under contract and paid 100 euros to unlock it. My other French sims worked but my sim from Three UK did not. I contacted orange who said it should work. I called Apple France who confirmed the phone is locked to France. So there you have it. I emailed Steve jobs complaining. I have been conversing with folks at about this also.



  8. Morely Dotes
    Paris Hilton

    @ mohan Paul

    "if its cheaper to register the purchase of a home in Belgium, why then does the French citizen have to use whatever French govt. agency that provides that service."

    Possibly because the home is in France, and not Belgium. I suspect that if you picked up the home and carried it to Belgium, the French government would waive the purchase registration (whatever that is - I'm sure we pay the same thing in the USA, but it's called something else entirely).

    But what about the registration of the Paris Hilton?

  9. lucmars


    So, if by 'testicules' you meant "b........ks', "couilles' would have been a better translation.

  10. mohan Paul


    Yes but why limit this unlinking of service just to hardware or mobile operators, why not also extend this to sovereignty and govt. services.

    Aren't there some govt. services that can be provided by any government?

    Will the French, Belgian and other EU states accept this idea do you think?

  11. Richard Munro

    @ Andrew Sheridan

    Andrew, I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong, but a 3 UK SIM is a bad one to try it with. 3 SIMs won't work in (almost) any phone that isn't 3G (the iPhone isn't) and in fact don't work properly in quite a few 3 G phones (as I found out last week). 3 block non 3G phones because they don't have their own 2G network, though why they block 3G phones is beyond me...

    Try it with a SIM from any other UK network for a fair test.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    three UK

    their sims will probably never work in an iphone, until apple release a 3g iphone...

    try a different foreign sim, and it might work, but a 3 sim must be in a 3g phone.. its a limitation they put on the sim AFAIK

  13. Gilbert Wham

    @mohan Paul

    Because, sadly, it is not yet possible to be a citizen of Mr Lee's Greater Hong Kong...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @mohan Paul

    "Aren't there some govt. services that can be provided by any government?"

    Yes, but there are also some that can't. The French government have a monopoly on French public roads. I have to pay French taxes for the French roads.

    A house in Belgium is serviced by Belgian roads and Belgian street lights. Part of the value of said house is derived from the accessibility of public services -- schools, libraries, playparks etc -- provided by the Belgian government. You derive value from their services -- not France's -- so you are their client.

    Certain former government commercial functions have now been "unbundled", but in the UK that's only led to increased prices in electricity, gas, water (exc. Scotland), phone calls, public transport....

  15. Andy Steel

    3 SIM on Nokia 6210

    I've got an old Nokia 6210 with a 3 SIM sitting in my desk drawer. It's certainly not 3G and worked "fine" until the SIM credit expired.

  16. Craig Collier

    3G on 3

    Yup - above is correct, three are the only 3G-only carrier in the UK (afaik) and only 3G phones will accept their simcards.

    these days thats pretty much everything except the iPhone.

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