August 23, 2007 / 11:05 AM / 12 years ago

Orange seen to say iPhone talks underway

A customer looks over the Apple iPhone at the Apple store in San Francisco, California June 29, 2007. A leading executive at France Telecom told Paris Match magazine several companies were in talks with U.S. group Apple over marketing Apple's iPhone in Europe, but added there was no deal yet. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

PARIS (Reuters) - A leading executive at France Telecom FTE.PA told Paris Match magazine several companies were in talks with U.S. group Apple (AAPL.O) over marketing Apple’s iPhone in Europe, but added there was no deal yet.

“There are several of us in talks with Apple to market the iPhone,” Louis-Pierre Wenes, a senior executive at France Telecom, told Paris Match in an article published on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Financial Times Deutschland reported that Deutsche Telekom AG’s (DTEGn.DE) mobile phone unit, T-Mobile, had agreed to a deal in which, in order to sell the iPhone, it would share with Apple 10 percent of the revenue it makes from calls and data transfers by customers over iPhones.

The FT Deutschland added that France Telecom’s Orange unit and the O2 unit of Spain’s Telefonica (TEF.MC) had also agreed to the terms for deals in their countries.

Asked whether he could confirm that Orange had got a deal with iPhone, Wenes replied: “No. Several operators are still in talks with Apple. I think it will be several weeks before we have an announcement. A deal in September, as has been reported, seems impossible to me, if only for technical reasons.

“Once the phone is activated, it allows you to access the operator’s network and that takes several months to get up and running. The marketing ought to take place in the fourth quarter of 2007, as indicated previously by Apple.”

Officials at France Telecom could not be immediately reached for comment. They have previously declined to comment on several other recent reports that the group will sell the iPhone in France.

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