Recent comments from Peter Erskine, O2's chief executive are being read as confirmation that the company has secured the iPhone deal from Apple to exclusively offer the device in the UK.

According to The Times, O2 has "laid the groundwork yesterday for an announcement of a tie-up with Apple to sell the US firm's iPhone handset".

When quizzed on the revenue-sharing partnership Apple allegedly expects from operators Erskine said: "If sharing revenue brings a bigger pie to the table, then we'll be happy to share that pie ... The revenue-sharing model will play an increasingly important role in the future of converged communications".

He also described the iPhone as an "iconic device with unique features that have proven to have tremendous appeal to large numbers of customers in the US".

Despite these positive statements, the deal is still officially unconfirmed - Erskine later stated "nothing yet has been announced as to who Apple may partner with in the UK".

An announcement from Apple about who will offer the iPhone in the UK is expected very soon, with some speculating the revelation will be made at the forthcoming Mac Expo in Paris at the end of September, others, including The Times, think a statement by the end of the week is almost certain.