Orange and T-Mobile to offer iPhone 3G in the UK?

Speculation mounts as O2 exclusive deal in the UK set to end

Apple's iPhone 3G could soon be available on T-Mobile and Orange.

According to Mobile Today, Apple's exclusive deal with O2 covering the Apple iPhone 3G comes to end in September and Apple is considering opening the handset to the two competing networks in the hope that sales will increase.

Mobile Today said T-Mobile's staff have started telling customers that the handset may soon be available through the operator, while The Telegraph claims the network is buying contract-free handsets from Europe to offer to UK customers.

O2 still has a contract with Apple to offer its iPhone 3GS exclusively.

The newspaper said sources at T-Mobile claimed Apple could not stand in the way of the ploy as its deal with O2 doesn't cover operators importing contract-free iPhones from abroad. T-Mobile has yet to comment on the matter. However, the operator told MocoNews that the suggestion it would make the handset available to its UK customers was "merely speculation".Mobile Today said sources had revealed O2 was "furious with the news" and particularly concerned that Orange and T-Mobile could entice users by undercutting the cost of the handset. However, O2 has been granted an exclusive deal to offer the new iPhone 3GS.

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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