The Apple launch tomorrow, supposedly a new iPod range, hasn't meant that the iPhone-in-the-UK rumour mill has stopped turning.

The newest reports suggest that an announcement is imminent and - as has been on and off reported for some time now, most recently by

The FT

- O2 are the victorious UK carrier.

According to

Mobile Today

one "major retailer" has said that O2 had "taken the deal on the table from Apple" rather than nit-picking with the company over deal details, presumably to ensure that they nab the exclusive contract from apparent biggest rival in the deal, Vodafone.

This same source also states: "It is the world's worst kept secret that the have the deal but it is a question of whether they take it out to the wider channels".

An old rumour has also re-emerged - that Carphone Warehouse will offer Apple a retail presence in the UK for their mobile and has "already been working with Apple" to create a store within a store in its Oxford Street branch.

The O2 speculation continues with the suggestion that the iPhone announcement will take place at The O2 venue, formerly the Millennium Dome.

A high profile launch is not out of the question for the device, and a statement is expected soon if this phone is to be available in Q4.

The main question is, with the new iPhone software unlocks from the States, if O2 has agreed to all Apple's supposedly high demands, will they live to regret the exclusive contract in the light of unlocked devices?