Orange, the mobile phone arm of telecoms group France Telecom, declined to comment on Wednesday on reports it had won the license to sell Apple Inc.'s iPhone in France.

France Telecom shares rose 1.5 percent in early trade on Wednesday, bucking the broader market trend, with traders citing the rumor.

Orange has no comment to make on the rumors about the iPhone, a spokeswoman for Orange said in an e-mailed statement.

Le Figaro newspaper, citing specialist technology publications, said on its Internet site on Wednesday that France Telecom could launch the iPhone in France shortly after an Apple conference in Paris at the end of September.

It said Orange might team up with Fnac, the electronics and books chain of retailer PPR, to boost its distribution network for the rollout.