The future could be orange......but probably not.
The most interesting thing is to hear that they will be running contracts with no handsets with minimum line rental and no handset. I know from my experience that customers fall in to one of two VERY broard catagories.
They either want a fashion handset (bought for looks)and want the latest. In which case they be willing to pay out up front for a handset and at the pace that the fickle phone industry moves they will still pay for a sim free fone regularly or just sign up for another contract to get the phone they want.
Or they are a data customer like myself (bought for capabilities). I bought a Treo 650 and 2x M5000 SPV's from Orange a year ago and for the uses that I have for them Orange hasnt got any replacement. Simply because there hasnt been anything produced. I have an upgrade in July but apart from getting 3x 8800's to flog I cant feasibly see anything worth getting but with an upgrade due Id feel I was wasting it if I didnt take advantage of getting a discount im entitled to.
For me I havent got any problem with signing up to a 3 year contract with Orange on a Sim only deal at a reduced rate and supplying my own handsets as and when I decide that a model has come out that would suit my needs better than the one I have at the moment.
However untill they want to start doing that. Ill be taking my 3 Sciroccos in black please.