back to article French get pre-pay iPhone 3G

Apple's 3G iPhone has gone on sale in France - without the need to take out an airtime contract. The untethered handset doesn't come cheap. The 8GB version will set you back €509 ($808/£404) while the 16GB model costs €609 ($966/£483). That's through local supplier Darty, which specialises in selling handsets that are not …


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  1. Stephane Mabille

    Go Belgian...

    Belgian handset are unlocked (as locking is illegal...) and (un)available for Euros 525 (8Gb) and Euros 615 (16Gb). Of course finding one is nearly impossible....

  2. Christopher Barham
    Thumb Down

    Nope - optus has prepaid in Aus

    Optus had prepaid available from day 1 in Australia:

    Recharge with 80 bucks or pay 80 bucks and they'll unlock it too.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Not Just France

    In Australia we've got three carriers selling non-contract and prepaid iPhone. Plus they all offer unlock just by calling and the unlock comes down via your iTunes. (cost is from free to $150)

    Mine's already unlocked via iTunes and I'm using it on the fourth carrier which lucked out on getting the iPhone.

    In New Zealand and Hong Kong they aren't locking them in the first place.

  4. Andy Silver badge

    Small matter

    French law requires carriers to unlock handsets only after you've had them for six months, so it's not a quick fix.


  5. Chris

    Jesusphone (Iphone) pre pay

    Like Stephane said here in Belgium Orange daughter Mobistar sold their Iphones unlocked and without a contract, although some salesstaff apparently tried to enfoce customers to sign up with a contract at the same time as the purchase and this upon their own initiative (hmmmmmm suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure).

    The other major GSM operator Proximus has even faq's on their website how to activate your Iphone so yeah if you can find "The Holy Grail" of mobile phones and do not want a contract come and stay for a few days in Belgium and call around to find one of those Holy Grails...

    Mine is the one with the N95-8GB... Just about all the functions from the Jesus phone but much less fuss around it

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foreign iPhones

    Can foreign ones be set to English if they are defaulted to French, etc?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Italian iPhone anyone

    So I ordered an 8gb PAYG on friday from vodafone italy,

    cost €499 incl free delivery (to Italy). the order process completed OK, as I HAVE an italian tax code (codice fiscale) actually anyone can 'make-up' a valid CF code , its just a hash of birthdate & place of birth & name , do it here <> from UK you have to enter something like Gran Bretagna as Commune.

    The small print said that Vodafone would phone me up on my existing Vodafone SIM number to confirm who I was. They didn't , they just cancelled my order! I was tracking the order online. Cue a phone call in Italian to help desk, press 1, 1, 3 to find a person. they needed my web username & password to check what the order status was, then confirmed that my order was indeed cancelled "due to problems with your Italian credit card" (they only accepted ITALIAN credit cards!) Knowing Italy well , I decided that there was chaos and I didn't try and re-order.

    Got an e-mail an hour later saying my 8GB had been posted and giving me a parcel tracking number. This didn't work, until wednesday order day +5 when it said "parcel in system", and it was promptly delivered an hour later.

    nice box, nice €5 128K PAYG USIM with 4 page contract that I ignored, I put in my old Omnitel crappy 2G SIM and plugged Shiny Toy into iTunes Italian Store. Apple User-Id with Italian credit card and Italian home address was verified and the phone became unbricked. Typed my IMEI into a Vodafone webpage and I authorised my £2 per week recurring data charge on my PAYG contract.

    So I now have an unlocked, PAYG, 8G iPhone 3G for €499 - but ordering online was chaos, and there were quite a few 'security' checks. You can theoretically buy a PAYG over-the-counter at a Vodafone dealer, I think you'll need a minimum of CF code and Vodafone SIM to unbrick the phone. The 128K USIM "promised" a 48 hour activation time after you fax all 4 sheets covered in tiny boxes. I'd personally buy a Vodafone or TIM SIM somewhere, then buy the handset OTC , but give it a month? I have the feeling that there aren't any until next week at least.

    Vodafone Italy website is here <,c>

  8. Tim J

    Any downsides?

    Can anyone say if there are any downsides to using an iPhone (either the original or 3g versions) on a different network - I was under the vague impression that the 'home' networks (i.e. those who Apple have a deal with) somehow offer extra iPhone functionality via their networks.

    Or am I just getting this muddled up with the fact that some networks had to expand their EDGE coverage so as to support the 1st generation iPhone?

  9. Jiminy Krikett

    iphone apps

    Anyone have a clue why loaded applications (monkey ball for instance) work for a day, then need to be deleted and redownloaded (for free!) and installed again? Driving me potty!! I have Monkeyball, facebook, shazam & some other free game, all work for a day (or thereabouts), they upon trying to start the app, it looks like it's working, then you return to the home screen - v.annoying!

  10. Eric Dennis
    Jobs Horns

    Did you say $808 for an 8GB IPHONE???

    Are they crazy?

    I can buy a laptop with Windows on it for that amount. I can buy a used Mac for that amount. My Compaq Presario Desktop didn't even cost that amount. There is no way I'd ever pay that much for any smartphone made by Apple or anyone else. My Samsung Blackjack Refurb only cost me $53. Forget it. The iPhone (no Smartphone really) is that special or important enough for me to shell out that kind of money for it.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    My Italian iPhone 3G actually booted up directly in english

    later I found a setting which allowed the choice of many languages, e.g pa-Russki, (when SJ asked when iPhone would go on sale in Russia he said - it doesn't need to, they'll get hold of them anyway!) in Italy/Australia/Belgium?

    overall iPhone set-up time was around 7 minutes, miles better compared to my E-65 which still annoys me, even tho' I eventually flashed the region/identity in order to get the new f/w, it crashes if I close the slider 'too fast'. I suppose the jPhone will crash eventually - but it is decent so far.

  12. foof

    @Eric Dennis

    I can buy an outhouse full of crap for for that amount too, but I wouldn't brag about it.

    In order of usability:

    1) Used Mac

    2) iPhone

    3) Outhouse full of crap

    4) Windows Laptop

    5) Compaq desktop

    6) Any phone made by Samsung

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    HOW MUCH !

    £404 F%^&ing pounds sterling for a bloody phone - better be made out of platinum for that much and give a better blow job than you'll find anywhere in Amsterdam.

  14. Thomas

    @Any downsides?

    I don't actually know, but if I had to guess then I'd say that visual voicemail (where you have a graphical inbox of voicemails and you select one to listen to, rather than having to phone up and listen to the three minute computer voice speech about menu options before having to listen to your messages in chronological order) almost certainly doesn't work on other carriers...

  15. Gerard McGill

    Picked up one at lunch time

    Im down in France on holiday, went in to the FT shop and bought one. Finding out how to unlock it too about 20 min but the staff were very helpfull since I was the 4th iphone sale of the day, and they had plenty of stock .

    You buy your phone and take the mobicart sim add 100€ of credit (costs 75€ as you get 25€ free) acitvate it in itunes then dila 3972 and ask for your phone to be simlock free and they take the 100€ from your account.

    Im in the process of doing it now, you either have 72 houres to do it in or it will take 72 hours. I lost a bit in the translation.

    684€ unlocked for a 16G

  16. Tony Naqvi
    Thumb Down


    How do these corporations get away with ripping people off like this?

    Even if you get an iphone under contract - most of the price plans are crap in comparison of ther plans.

    The stock shortage in the UK is laughable at best, unlawful at worst since it seems a deliberate attempt by Apple to increase demand in there product (think Wii).

    What is it with Apple anyhow? Does it really have such little faith in the commercial success of iphone that it needs to resort to such underhand tactics? Did the demand for the original (and pre-sale of the 3G version) not give it some indicator as to demand?

    How could O2 not see this coming? How could they have such short-sightedness that their servers would buckle under the strrain of new registrations!

    And then Apple boast of a 1 million units sold in the first week. Are you kidding!

    I'm seriously in danger of becoming as cynical about these things are the reg! :(

  17. Anonymous Coward


    so my iPhone 3G was only U$D780 equiv in italy, but you're overlooking one interesting feature. I've upgraded my AppleTv to software 2.1 and I now use my iPhone to remotely control my ATV , from anywhere in the house!

    just think, when I lose the last of the 20 dollar tiny remotes, at least I can use my ever so reasonable iPhone. And if I lose that behind the sofa or in the dog, I just have to phone it to find it!

    meanwhile, when I (re)started in IT I was a win NT sys-op, and I liked playing with OS9 at home and eventually persuaded the PHB to buy a lime Green iBook. Now all senior managers at wirk are queuing up for their MBP's. None of them choose Vista. I'm sure this/next year they'll all have jPhones and someone at work will have to show them how to plug the SIM in. I intend that it be me. I'll have a job next year. Now I'm playing with xubuntu on the eee at home, life moves on!

  18. Mark Aggleton
    Black Helicopters


    I'd probably reverse the order completely (with the exception of the Samsung).

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