Apple's iPhone 4 won't be available on 3 until the end of July.

"We've kind of got the iPhone now - we have the 3GS - but I think we'll have the iPhone 4 by the end of July," said Kevin Ruseell, CEO at 3.

"This is a big deal for us - we've got to go head to head with other networks [on smartphones] and not having the iPhone is like having one hand tied behind our backs, with us missing a key weapon."

3 first announced it would be stocking Apple's latest smartphone last month. However, while O2, Orange, Vodafone and Tesco have all released pricing and availability details for the handset, 3 has remained quiet, until now.

"Having the iPhone is a significant step forward for us, and we really want to push forward with this device over the next six months," added Russell.

Brits can get the 16GB Apple iPhone 4 for free if they take out a £45-per-month contract. Users will be tied in for two years but get 2000 minutes, as well as 5,000 minutes to call others on the 3 network, 5,000 texts and a data allowance of 1GB.

Alternatively for £89, mobile phone owners can get their hands on the 32GB version of the handset on the same contract.

3's cheapest offering for the iPhone 4 costs £30 per month and offers users 500 minutes of calls, 5,000 minutes of 3 to 3 calls, 500 texts and the same 1GB data allowance as the most expensive package.

However, the network also says a £25-per- month tariff will be available, but it has yet to release details of the calling and text allowances on this contract, as well as the handset subsidy users will be expected to pay.

Russell also said he "would be surprised" if FaceTime – Apple's answer to video calling, takes off.

"In places like Italy, where they're less reserved about video calling from the beach or somewhere like that, it may be a different story - but in the UK we're culturally very different, so I can't see it being a big thing," agreed Marc Allera, sales and marketing director for Three.

See also: Apple iPhone 4 stocks low already

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