At a recent press briefing, Three CEO Kevin Russell let slip that the new iPhone 4 UK release date for Three has been set for the end of July.

Speaking at a round table briefing to launch the new price plans, he stated that having the iPhone was a pivotal step for the network:

"We've kind of got the iPhone now - we have the 3GS - but I think we'll have the iPhone 4 by the end of July.

"This is a big deal for us - we've got to go head to head with other networks [on smartphones] and not having the iPhone is like having one hand tied behind our backs, with us missing key weapon," added Russell.

Step forward

"Having the iPhone is a significant step forward for us, and we really want to push forward with this device over the next six months."

"We worked on getting it on our terms... but in the end we've probably taken it on Apple's," admitted Marc Allera, sales and marketing director for Three, when speaking about why Three has taken two and a half years to announce the iPhone.

However, one of the key features of the new iPhone 4 - according to Apple at least - will fail, with Russell saying he "would be surprised if [FaceTime] takes off in the next two to three years."

Allera echoed the sentiment: "In places like Italy, where they're less reserved about video calling from the beach or somewhere like that, it may be a different story - but in the UK we're culturally very different, so I can't see it being a big thing."