France shocked at iPhone X costing exactly French minimum wage

After Apple unveiled its shiny new iPhone X to the world, French media noted with wonder and consternation that the hi-tech gadget cost almost exactly the same as a worker on France’s minimum wage earns for a month’s labour.

France shocked at iPhone X costing exactly French minimum wage
The new iPhone X. AFP.
“Is the iPhone X worth a SMIC?” asked a headline in Le Parisien newspaper, using the French abbreviation for the monthly minimum wage that is legally fixed at €1,149 after tax.
The cheapest version of the iPhone X, unveiled on Tuesday at Apple’s new “spaceship” headquarters in California, will be sold in France from November 3 priced at €1,159.
The newspaper marvelled at the new product’s technology, but rather snootily noted that buying it for that price was like buying a Porsche for a short commute to work when a low-cost Dacia car would do the job just as well.
Ouest-France, the country’s biggest selling daily, joined the many media outlets engulfed in a moral quandary about people being asked to pay so much for a mere telephone.
“Ten euros. Or two handfuls of pains au chocolat. That is what now separates the price of an iPhone from the minimum wage,” the paper wrote of the phone that marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone.
“In ten years, the iconic object of the Apple brand has grown three centimetres in height, and one in width, while its entry price has more than doubled,” said Ouest-France. “The SMIC has for its part progressed by 150 euros to keep up with inflation.”
Social media was also awash with French users aghast at the price of the new device or mocking it.
One tweeter said that the SMIC minimum wage would henceforth be known as the “PIX: Price of the iPhone X”
French customers desperate to get their hands on the latest Apple product can of course opt for the marginally cheaper iPhone 8, also launched on Tuesday.
Or if they can find a cheap flight, they could head to New York to take advantage of the favourable euro-dollar rate and buy an iPhone X 24 per cent cheaper than its price in France, according to BFM news channel’s calculations.
by Rory Mulholland


France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier