The UK's original Apple iPhone partner O2, will from today start to unlock customers phones. Rival provider, Orange starts selling the iPhone today, Vodafone is expected to offer the iPhone from the second week in January next year.

O2 notes on the Unlock my iPhone website:

From 10 November, the iPhone can be unlocked for O2 customers in the UK.

Pay Monthly customers

Your iPhone can be unlocked at anytime free of charge. If you unlock your handset and place a non-O2 sim into it, you will still have to honour the remainder of the minimum term on your contract.

iPhone Pay & Go customers

For iPhone on Pay & Go, unlocking can take place 12 months after you've bought your iPhone for a one-off £15 fee which will be deducted from your airtime balance.

What do I need to do?

Firstly, complete the unlocking form - it will take up to 14 days for the iPhone to be unlocked and we'll text you to confirm the unlock request. Then place a non-O2 sim into the iPhone and connect to iTunes via a USB cable. iTunes will confirm that the iPhone has been successfully unlocked.

O2 also provides a FAQs section for those having trouble unlocking iPhones.

O2 boss Matthew Key, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Telefónica Europe recently had to deny reports that the company wouldn't offer the service. "There is absolutely no truth in that rumour.

Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks, we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honour any outstanding contract period they have," Key told The Times.

"At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator - though naturally we hope they won't want to!"