Apple and Orange seems close to resolving the exclusive French iPhone distribution deal, reports claim.

Apple announced a November 9 launch point for the device in the UK (with O2) and Germany (with T-Mobile) last month, but a French announcement was never made.

Now, France Telecom chief executive Didier Lombard said he expects the situation regarding its Orange unit's exclusive deal to market Apple's new iPhone mobile phone to be resolved by the end of November.

Lombard announced a deal was close to being secured on 20 September, but Apple had not yet confirmed the arrangement and - some reports claim - reacted angrily to Lombard's admission.

French Mac website MacBidouille reports: "Recent information we have received and collected from our sources also indicates that Apple and Orange finally found a compromise."

The deal faces another hurdle in the form of a local French consumer protection law which insists that such devices be sold both with and without contracts, undermining its exclusivity for Orange and Apple's demand of up to 30 per cent of voice and data revenues.

Apple's demand for a share of voice and data revenues is understood to have been another barrier to tying up the deal.