Tesco to offer the iPhone

Here in the UK supermarket behemoth Tesco has announced it is to offer the Apple iPhone in time for Christmas - a real sign of how mass market the handset is to become.

Going back 2 years, at launch the iPhone was only available on one network - O2 - and through O2, Apple or Carphone Warehouse stores, but fast forward to the present and the mobile is set to be available on three operators, and through a growing network of retailers, including now, Britain's biggest supermarket.

Tesco will offer the phone on its O2-powered Tesco Mobile network, according to a statement from the retailing giant: "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".

Those hoping for Tesco pricing on the handset will almost certainly be disappointed, O2 and Orange - the two operators that offer the mobile now - have kept contract and handset prices high and with very little difference between them.

So will the ever-increasing availability of the iPhone see some of its shine rub off? Will Tesco offering the device lose the iPhone some kudos? Have your say in the comments box below.