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Vodafone joins iPhone 4 pricing fray

The operator will offer business customers Apple's smartphone for free on two-year tariffs of £50 per month, the same level as rival Orange

Vodafone has announced its pricing for the iPhone 4, with the 16GB version of the handset being available for free on two-year, £50-per-month contracts.

The operator's business customer pricing was released on Friday, a day after rivals O2 and Orange announced how much they would charge for Apple's smartphone.

Orange and Vodafone also provide the handset for free on £50-a-month tariffs, while O2 customers have to sign up for a £60-per-month plan. T-Mobile, 3 and Tesco have yet to announce their plans for the iPhone 4.

So far, Orange is only carrier to have announced how much it will charge pay-as-you-go customers for the iPhone 4: £480 for the 16GB version and £570 for the 32GB version. Those buying the handset through the Apple Store will pay £499 and £599 for those models, respectively.

By way of contrast, HTC flagship Android handset, the Desire, is available SIM-free for around £400.

The iPhone 4 can also be used as a modem. Vodafone also said in a Friday statement that it would charge its customers £5 for 500MB worth of data when the phone is used in this way, £10 for 1.5GB of data or £15 for 3GB. The HTC Desire provides this kind of tethering for free.