Orange has sold 90,000 iPhones since releasing the handset to French buyers in November 2007, the carrier's parent, France Telecom, told reporters yesterday.
It said half of that total were customers who'd come to Orange from other networks.
Yet, the France Telecom president Didier Lombard did admit that he'd have preferred to have sold 90,000 iPhones by the end of calendar 2007 rather than the end of January, a month after the completion of France Telecom's most recent fiscal year.
Early in January, the telco said Orange had sold 70,000 iPhones up until the end of December 2007. That puts January's sales at 20,000 units. If that can be sustained, that's 240,000 iPhones for 2008 as a whole.
Orange originally forecast 2007 iPhone sales of 100,000, though it later adjusted that prediction to 50,000-100,000 units. Handy that - especially since we now know it's still 10,000-odd handsets short of that first target.
It's not hard to see the problem. There's clearly demand for the iPhone, and plenty of people are stumping up the cash. But how many more would sign up if Orange, O2 and T-Mobile could subsidise the phone to the extent they do other such devices?