Apple's French mobile network partner Orange sold 70,000 iPhones in the territory in the first month of sales, the company has confirmed.

This news emerges as speculation continues that claims UK sales have fallen short of O2's expectations, though the company has said it expects to sell 200,000 iPhones in the UK by the end of this month, a figure it claims to be "in line" with expectations. O2 claims 60 per cent of iPhone buyers are new to its network.

Orange seems happy with its results in France, which lie within its initially announced expectation that it would sell between 50,000 to 100,000 Apple mobiles in the first few weeks of sale.

Orange says that 48 per cent of iPhone buyers were new subscribers, opening a new account with the carrier. And 82 per cent of customers signed up for an iPhone-specific service plan.

Fewer than 3,500 customers chose to buy an unlocked iPhone, conceivably on strength of the €999 price tag placed on sale of these.