France Telecom’s Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile — who have put their British operations into a joint venture — said on Monday new purchase options in Britain would mean “more affordable prices when purchased with a data service plan.”
In France, a spokeswoman for Orange said the carrier would subsidize the iPad when it starts selling in Orange stores next month at prices starting from 279 euros ($383). To get a discount, a customer might, for example, have to sign up for 24 months at 35 euros per month, she said.
The iPad has sold more than 7.5 million since it went sale in April. Prices range from $499 for the cheapest model in the United States to 699 pounds ($1,119) for the most expensive version in Britain.
Apple has disrupted the way device makers do deals with telecoms operators since entering the market in 2007, picking exclusive carrier partners to sell its iPhone and holding back the speedy price erosion that afflicts most other handsets.
The company was reported to have considered selling iPhones with its own SIM cards to bypass operators, but to have recently abandoned that plan under pressure from carriers like Vodafone who currently subsidize the iPhone.
SOURCE : REUTERS