Vodafone to offer 'free' Nexus One in June

Airtime provider Vodafone will be the first company to offer Google's Nexus One handset in the UK.

The Android-based touchscreen handset, which has received mixed reviews from users in territories where the phone has been available for some time, will be available on contract from £25 per month, but you'll have to shell out £35 per month for two years if you want to get the device 'free'.

Now we're not much cop at maths 'round here, but we reckon that adds up to a wallet-worrying £840 making use of all of our fingers and toes.

Arriving on April 30th, the handset could have a hard time of taking on the ubiquitous iPhone with its more mature operating system, fanatical user base and more generous airtime options. You can currently get a new 16GB iPhone 3Gs on a £30, 18 month O2 contract with totally unlimited data, though you will have to stump up £179 for the handset (making the total cost over two years £809).

The Vodafone Nexus contracts include a frankly pathetic 1GB quota (although Vodafone describes it as 'staggering').

Android is currently gaining traction in the mobile market with a nine per cent slice of the cellular pie in the USA, but it still trails way behind Blackberry, Apple and Microsoft.

Recent statistics estimate that the Android Market will soon launch its 50,000th title, an impressive figure which is nonetheless dwarfed by Apple's 185,000 plus.

Vodafone is taking pre-orders now