Vodafone, Apple's latest mobile phone partner in the UK, is to offer the iPhone on a SIM-only deal, which it hopes will encourage customers to switch networks.

A 'SIM-only' contract, which offers a bundle of minutes and text messages but no handset for a monthly subscription.

This would be the first SIM-only deal available for the Apple iPhone.

"That means people using their iPhone on other networks can now join the UK's best network with Vodafone's SIM-only deal," Vodafone said.

Apple iPhone SIM-Only Vodafone deal

A £25 per month SIM only deal offers 900 minutes of talk time, unlimited texts, 1GB of mobile data monthly and unlimited Wi-Fi access via BT Premium Openzone on a 12-month deal.

"Why choose us? Our coverage reaches 99.7 per cent of the UK population - and our network has won awards for its speed and reliability," Vodafone claims on its website.

More details can be found on the SIM-only section on the Vodafone website.

Vodafone could also be a partner for Apple's forthcoming iPad device.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao recently said he was "very interested" in the iPad, which will be available in the UK in late March for the Wi-fi model, and April for the Wi-fi and 3G option.

"I have not, personally, touched one but I really look forward to it. I believe it is going to be another important piece of the - mobile - data experience. I think anything that improves the customer experience with mobile data is welcome and as such I would be very interested in having it," Colao said.

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See also: 48% of Brits don't know what 'SIM-only' deals are