updated 10:40 pm EDT, Mon May 26, 2008
Orange iPhone Trade-Up
Orange is giving its French iPhone customers incentives to trade up to the new model, according to news from multiple readers of PCInpact. The carrier is described as calling its customers giving them an offer that would encourage them to trade up to the iPhone. One offer would see users trade in their 2G models for the next-generation version as well as paying 50 Euros; a second would let them keep the older model but buy the new one with a "generous" subsidy from the carrier, according to reports.
The provider hasn't responded to requests to confirm the campaign. It's also unknown whether the move is permanent or a temporary promotion encouraging early adopters to buy again.
If corroborate, the report would suggest that at least one existing iPhone carrier is opening itself to a subsidized model that rewards Apple by discounting the phone itself rather than splitting monthly service revenues between the American phone maker and its partners. T-Mobile Germany has already begun contract-based discounts on iPhones but only as part of a limited discount meant to clear stock by late June, when most observers foresee a 3G-capable iPhone model available in many current and new markets.
Whether this will be the default choice for carriers from now on is also unclear, though the change is all but necessary to bring the iPhone to countries like China, where nationalist policies both formal and otherwise discourage direct revenue sharing with outside countries.