O2's rivals could be looking to cash in on the network operator's announcement that it will sell the iPhone only to existing customers for the foreseeable future, although they remain tight-lipped on stock levels.
Vodafone told V3.co.uk that it plans offer the iPhone to "anyone who wants to join its network".
However, this could leave many loyal Vodafone customers frustrated, especially if they have to wait to get an iPhone because of an influx of new customers. The spokesman refused to comment on stock details.
Three was less forthcoming on its plans. The operator declined to comment on its strategy or stock levels, suggesting that, like O2, it could struggle to cope with demand on Thursday. Orange had not responded at the time of writing.
T-Mobile is the only major network which has yet to confirm when it will sell Apple's latest device.
A spokesman from T-Mobile said that "no dates have been planned", but that an announcement will be made in due course. Judging from the lack of activity at T-Mobile, it seems likely that the firm will not carry stock from Thursday, placing it at a significant disadvantage.
O2 admitted over the weekend that its stocks of the iPhone are " extremely limited" and that it will offer the device only to existing customers.
An O2 spokesman told V3.co.uk that, while O2 is making the device available for all existing customers, it cannot guarantee that it has enough stock for new customers. The phone is likely to sell out on a first come first served basis.
Customers must have been with O2 since 24 May and have a mobile phone, home/mobile broadband or home phone with the company to be eligible.
"We will be able to check your details on the system, but it is recommended that you bring some identification with you to the O2 store if you can," added the spokesman.
The operator refused to comment on its stock level in comparison to other networks. Apple and AT&T have already started to cancel pre-order requests in the US.
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