Orange is soon to start selling the iPhone in the UK, marking the end of O2's monopoly on Apple's smartphone devices in this country.
The carrier announced today that it has reached an agreement to bring the iPhone 3G and 3GS models to Orange's UK customers later this year.
A spokesperson for the company told V3.co.uk that Orange wanted to "make the iPhone available to as many customers as possible".
However, information on pricing, tariffs and even dates for availability have yet to be disclosed by Orange, which said that this would be revealed in due course.
An iPhone Orange pre-registration site for customers to sign up to get an Apple handset on the Orange network is now available.
Until now, O2 had been the sole carrier of the iPhone in the UK since the original device became available towards the end of 2007.
However, O2 has also managed to get exclusive deals for other desirable smartphones, particularly Palm's Pre which is due to be available in the UK in the near future.
The Pre is widely regarded as one of the biggest rivals to the iPhone, and may have had some bearing on Apple's decision to open up the iPhone to other carriers.
In a statement on the O2 blog, the company said it always knew the iPhone exclusivity would be for a limited period, but that its relationship with Apple continues and "will be an ongoing success".
Orange, which now claims to cover more of the UK population than any other 3G network operator, said that it will sell the iPhone in direct channels including high-street shops, the Orange webshop and its telesales channels, as well as selected retailers.
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