Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Vodafone to sell iPhone in UK in January 2010

Vodafone shop
Unlimited texts are available with every iPhone contract

Vodafone says it will start selling the iPhone in the UK on 14 January 2010.

It is the latest of the UK's major phone networks to offer the iPhone to customers.

The cheapest tariff available is £30 a month for 24 months, plus additional handset charges ranging from £59 (iPhone 3G 8GB) to £239 (3GS 32GB).

Both business and consumer contracts are subject to a 1GB monthly data limit on mobile internet use. Orange has a "fair use" limit of 750MB per month.

Vodafone and O2 both offer unlimited wifi use. Orange's data limit includes connections to the internet via BT Open-Zone wifi.

Both O2's and Orange's lowest tariffs - £34.26 and £29.36 respectively - are on a 24-month contract and come with a free iPhone.

Vodafone comes close with a £35 a month contract over a two year period, also including a free 3G 8GB handset.

Tesco Mobile tariffs start at £20 a month for 12 months - with a £222 charge for the same model of handset. However, Tesco says that the shorter contract will enable customers to upgrade more quickly.

Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone UK, said that the company had been preparing its network for over a year to handle the introduction of the iPhone.

There are concerns that mobile networks globally are struggling to cope with demand as more consumers choose internet-enabled smartphones and mobile dongles over fixed broadband deals.

Vodafone has also introduced a charge for customers wishing to use their iPhones as a modem - starting at £5 to download 500 MB.

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