Orange seals exclusive contract with Apple

Apple signed an exclusive partnership agreement with French wireless carrier Orange for the iPhone in France, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Orange will begin offering service for the iPhone when the device goes on sale in France on November 29. Apple said the 8-gigabyte iPhone will cost 399 euros ($565).

France will become the third European country, in addition to Britain and Germany, to sell the iPhone, the report added.

Reports over recent weeks in the French press suggested tensions existed between the two companies over what share of subscriber revenue Apple would get, the report said.

Earlier, French business weekly Challenges reported that France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard visited Apple CEO Steve Jobs last week in Cupertino, California, to resolve the problems.

A spokeswoman for France Telecom declined to comment on how the revenue would be shared between the two companies, saying details of the contract with Apple are confidential, the Associated Press report said.

The report further said the iPhone will be sold in France both with and without a contract according to French consumer law.