Vodafone this morning will confirm it has reached a deal to carry the iPhone in the UK, following a similar confirmation from Orange yesterday. Both networks will vie for iPhone customers with O2, which now loses its exclusive deal for the device in the UK market.

The carrier has reached a deal to sell the iPhone in the UK and Ireland from "early 2010", reports claim.

With three carriers now confirming they will be selling the device in the UK, and given that T-Mobile has also been discussed as a possible iPhone vendor, increased competition between the networks should eventually translate into good news for consumers.

"There will be a price war," said Steven Hartley, analyst at technology research house Ovum told the Telegraph. "Research shows that in every country where there is more than one operator selling it, it is cheaper.

"It could be very disruptive, but it depends how Orange play it. If they get really aggressive O2 will have to respond and a full-on price war could start."

The analyst expects the monthly tariff for the device to fall by up to £5 per month, given the increased competition. Orange has already said it intends charging less than O2 does for the device.

Virgin Mobile is also thought to be attempting to clinch a supply deal for the UK market.

In vaguely related news, China Unicom has confirmed it will make the iPhone available in China starting this Thursday.

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