France-telecom owned Orange is only a couple of weeks away from getting the right to legally sell the iPhone family in the UK as the exclusivity agreement between Apple and O2 comes to an end.
The iPhone will be available through Orange's official outlets, online and on high streets, as well as through the usual retailers like Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U. Reports suggest that more than 200,000 people have already expressed their interests in getting the iPhone from Orange.
Vodafone is also set to get the iPhone by early next year and there are also rumours that 3 networks, the smallest of the operators, is also actively seeking to get the iPhone on its network according to its CEO, Kevin Russell.
T-Mobile would be the only one left out of the game but then, it is merging with Orange next year although competition concerns might slow down the process.
The iPhone remains the most elaborate smartphone on the market and has pushed into the mainstream some fantastic features like the App store, capacitive screens, accelerometer, multi touch and pinch to zoom (ed: we know that other smartphones had these features before but none brought them together as the iPhone did).
The competition for the most popular smartphone in the UK is likely to heat up significantly as a slew of Android-based smartphones, Windows Mobile phones and others (like the Palm pre and the Blackberry Storm 2) will flood the market over the next 90 days, in the build up to Christmas.
Don't expect any price falls even with increased "competition". Apple, not the mobile phone networks, is the one controlling the game and it is unlikely that it will be happy to reduce its profit margins. The question therefore remains as to which tactics will the mobile phone operators use to lure customers and reduce customer churn.