According to Reuters, the Vodafone Group's CEO, Arun Sarin, has said Vodafone is concerned the current iPhone does not operate on 3G networks.

Apparently speaking on a conference call, Sarin said any deal to bring the iPhone to the Vodafone network in the UK would have to make sense for shareholders, presumably a reference to Apple's rumoured high financial demands for any iPhone partnership.

Sarin stated: "It's clearly a good, software-driven device, but we're concerned about wideband area coverage so that 3G or HSDPA connectivity with the iPhone is something that we look forward to".

"Every product, every alternative, every choice here has a price and we just have to be conscious of what it is that we're doing for our customers and our shareholders."

Vodafone was always considered the front runner in the race to get the iPhone in the UK, but more recent reports have suggested that O2 was the more likely candidate.

Reuters reports that Sarin also said that "virtually" every mobile company was having a conversation with Apple, but that he could not comment further on any potential decision or announcement.