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iPhones aPlenty for Brits

5:00 AM -- Want an iPhone in the U.K.? Then your choice of service provider just got even bigger.

Following Monday's news that Orange UK is breaking Telefónica UK Ltd. 's iPhone monopoly before the year is out, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) today announced its very own deal with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to sell the 3G and 3GS versions of the iconic devices in the U.K. and Ireland. (See O2 UK Loses iPhone Monopoly.)

But forgot about finding a Vodafone iPhone in your Christmas stocking -- the operator won't start selling the phones until early 2010.

Like Orange UK's iPhone announcement, Vodafone did not reveal any price or tariff details.

Now that the iPhone is available from three of the U.K.'s five 3G operators (and it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect similar announcements from T-Mobile (UK) and even Three UK ), it will be interesting to see how the carriers will attempt to differentiate their offers, as well as how much of consumers' operator selections will be based on price, network coverage, or service plans.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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