When O2 lost its exclusive rights to the iPhone it was something of a surprise to see both Vodafone and Orange be awarded contracts. In light of this news, however, it's clear Apple is happy to entertain a free for all.
Today sees its most unlikely of new network partners to date: Tesco mobile. The high volume, low price supermarket runs a niche, but moderately successful virtual network on the back of... wait for it... the O2 network.
In a brief statement it said: "Tesco Mobile through its joint venture partnership with O2 is pleased to announce that it will shortly introduce iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in Tesco Phone Shops and online through Tesco Direct in the UK." It has put up a holding page at the link below.
No contract details have been released as yet, but Tesco could potentially cause waves given it has already launched the UK's first unlimited calls monthly tariff for just £30pm. On the other hand, whether O2 would allows this - given the last thing it needs is another wave of iPhones dragging down its data network - is another point entirely. Still, maybe those £500m investments will see it through.
Of course selling iPhones in a supermarket is nothing new for Apple since they have been on Walmart shelves in the US for some time now. Elitists won't be happy, but since when have we ever cared about them? Oh and as 3 CEO Kevin Russell has already admitted he would like the iPhone on 3 I suspect all he has to do now is ask...