Following the news we brought you that this might well be the case, it's being reported that Orange has "won the exclusivity" for the HTC Hero.

The Hero, a leaked forthcoming Android-based phone, would be Orange's first handset to offer the Google OS, and is rumoured for a release later this year.

Mobile reports that the Hero will offer HSDPA connectivity, Bluetooth, and a 3-megapixel camera.

The previous suggestion that Orange was to offer the device came from a French Orange exec boasting of six Android phones to launch with the operator during 2009.

In the UK T-Mobile was the first to market with an Android device - the G1, followed by Vodafone in the last month with the launch of the Magic, both made by HTC.