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Why French iPhones won't work here

Buying an unlocked iPhone in France isn't an option after all

If you're tempted to hop over to France and bag yourself an unlocked iPhone before Christmas - beware. It may not work over here in quite the way you intended.

Because even though you can buy a contract-free iPhone in France, Apple has applied a country lock, so that it only works on French mobile networks. And that means you'll have to pony for roaming charges in the UK, according to iPhone Atlas.

Court injunction

France is the only country that currently sells unlocked iPhones. This is because you can't be forced to buy a second product to get hold of a first - like having to take out a mobile contract so can get an iPhone.

Last month Vodafone Germany successfully brought a court injunction against T-Mobile, resulting in unlocked iPhones also being sold there. However the injunction was overturned on appeal and iPhones are once again locked to a T-Mobile contract.

UK iPhones are of course linked to an 18-month O2 contract. The phone costs £269 plus £35-£55 per month for the subscription.

We have asked Apple UK to comment on the substance of this story.