iPhone hits Europe

17 Sep 2007

It may only be a matter of time before Irish consumers get their hands on Apple’s iPhone as it was revealed today that the sought-after handset will hit shelves in France on 29 November.

The iphone will be available through French mobile operator Orange, and is said to begin retailing at €300 for the 4GB model, or around US$420, considerably higher than the current US sale price of US$399 for the 8GB version.

The November date for the iPhone’s French debut will be officially announced on 24 September at the Apple Expo in Paris, which runs until 29 September and is one of the largest IT events in Europe with over 200 partners.

Meanwhile Apple has called British journalists to a press briefing on London tomorrow morning, which is said to result in an official announcement on a UK release date for the iPhone.

It is rumoured that o2 will be the carrier for the UK iPhone, and this choice of carrier and release date would possibly reflect on the iPhone situation in Ireland, although no details have been announced.

Several industry leaders, including Graeme Slattery, head of music for 3 Ireland, have pointed to the iPhone’s lack of 3G capability as its weak point in a European market. And while analysts have predicted that when Apple finally brings the handset to Europe it will be 3G enabled, this does not seem to be on the cards.

By Marie Boran