So, the iPhone availability, pricing and tariffs for the UK have finally been revealed.
This means that Apple's handset is more of a reality now for UK consumers than it ever has been, and thoughts may well be wandering to the day that you walk out of an Apple/O2/Carphone Warehouse shop with a little black box.
The iPhone's high price, not perhaps as high as was expected for rip-off Britain, but still a lot to pay for a mobile phone, and that rubbish only-30%-of-the-UK EDGE coverage will make some people think twice.
If your mind is made up to get an iPhone, then I certainly wouldn't want to change it, but I did think it might prove an interesting exercise to see what other operators will have on their shelves at the same time that would make, if not substitutions, then solid alternatives.
Orange will be offering the Sony Ericsson W910i by then. Exclusive to Orange in a rather nice red, this is the new top-end Walkman phone that offers the SensMe selection function that lets you chose songs by style and tempo as well as the Shake control that lets you flick the handset to skip tracks.
HSDPA-enabled, to be free on most monthly deals, it's a solid option for those that want some innovative music features in a nicely designed music-focused handset.
A trip to a 3 store will reveal the 3G 5-megapixel camera equipped touchscreen KU990 "Viewty" that boasts the world's first 120 fps video recording feature in a mobile camera phone.
Somewhat ironic, considering their portrayal in some tech press as a the jilted partner in the iPhone deal, it's possibly Vodafone that offers the best iPhone-beating exclusives.
They will get the 8GB version of Nokia's N95 multimedia device. This capacity matches the iPhone's gig for gig, and as an added bonus, Vodafone will offer their own music services; the all-you-can-eat £1.99 a week subscription service from MusicStation; and Nokia Music Store's via the new "Ovi" service will be available on the device.
This choice of three options to get music on your mobile has got to beat iTunes' restrictive practices.
As well as the monster N95, Vodafone will offer you the (also 3G) Samsung F700, also known as the "Croix" (the name of its award-winning user interface) that gives you a 5-megapixel camera, a touchscreen with "vibro-tactile" haptic sensation plus a slide out keyboard so you don't have to relearn to type.
Vodafone confirmed to me that both these handsets will be in stores in November free on some (obviously higher-end) contracts.
So, if you don't want to go down the Apple/O2 route this November, don't despair, there's plenty of good-looking handsets out there to tempt you - for free.