Apple's iPhone is to go on sale in France with a promotional blitz late on Wednesday.
Orange, the mobile phone and Internet arm of France Telecom has obtained exclusive rights to sell the so-called "smartphone" in France. It said on Wednesday that the headline launch price would be €749 (U.S. $505) when the device first goes on sale late on Wednesday through 12 outlets before a full launch on Thursday.
Orange says that more than 50,000 people in France have already placed orders for the iPhone, which comes with a base cost of €649 euros plus a charge of €100 for access to other mobile phone networks.
Existing customers of Orange who do not want wider access will be able to buy the device for €549, or for €349 with a user subscription through Orange.
However, the phone is already on sale at lower prices via several French Internet sites despite the threat of legal action by Orange.