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Vodafone loves the Apple iPhone with 50,000 day one units sold

Vodafone today joined O2, Orange, and Tesco Mobile in offering the Apple iPhone to their customers, and they did so with shipping 50,000 units of the iPhone to customers who have pre-registered on their site, and with queues forming outside many of their high street stores around the UK.

Vodafone has become the fourth mobile operator in the UK to offer the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to their customers. Vodafone finally starting to sell the iPhone is believed to be a saviour for the network that was loosing customer left, right, and center when the iPhone was first launched in the UK.

With reports that Vodafone has shipped 50,000 units of the Apple iPhone on day one of trade, all to pre-registered customers, and that some of their high street stores have experienced queues of customers wanting to get their hands on the Apple iPhone, we are sure there are plenty of smiles back in the Vodafone HQ.

We were not the only ones speculating that we could see a price war on the Apple iPhone once the announcement was made that the iPhone 3G/3GS on Orange and Vodafone was announced, finally breaking the exclusive deal Apple had with O2 since the launch of the original iPhone, but so far the networks have positioned themselves very close to each other. Vodafone is clearly focused on retaining their current customer base to start with, without having to give up too much in terms of earnings from the iPhone.

So, how does Vodafone compare to O2 and Orange when it comes to price on the Apple iPhone? We have looked at the top model, the iPhone 3GS, on a 24 month contract paying £35 a month. The Apple iPhone will set you back £179 on that plan on Vodafone, compared to £175 on both O2 and Orange.

The pricing between the networks are very similar, so if you are looking to get a new iPhone 3GS and are open to changing networks we would recommend finding out which networks offer the best coverage for your area, and the best overall package in terms of minutes, text, and data plan.

You can find out more about the iPhone pricing in our iPhone 3GS UK buying guide, as well as compare against iPhone 3GS Tesco tariffs.

We are crossing our fingers that competition will increase once the networks are finished upgrading their current customers and are ready to start fighting for the new ones. Perhaps once the iPhone 4G hits the markets this year competition will again increase, and at least we should start seeing the prices for the iPhone 3GS start dropping.

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