Apple has hooked up with Orange to distribute iPhone in France, according to the mobile network's chief executive Didier Lombard.

The deal is expected to be announced officially on the eve of the Apple Expo in Paris next week.

The news wasn't entirely unexpected, as this week has seen rumours that O2 would take the UK and T-Mobile the German markets for the iPhone officially confirmed by Apple.

In related news, Bloomberg reports that Vodafone remains committed to grabbing its slice of the iPhone opportunity, potentially by bidding to carry the device in new markets.

Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin stressed the firm would, "absolutely" get another chance in the next six to 12 months.

He also recently told analysts that his firm is looking forward to a faster version of the device – perhaps using 3G.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently dismissed 3G as a "battery hog", but this is expected to improve next year.