Vodafone is reportedly the front-runner to get the sole rights to the Apple iPhone when it's launched in Europe.

Apple is said to be looking for a pan-European partner through which to launch its device. Vodafone has always been a clear contender for the Apple iPhone contract.

Vodafone has coverage in most European countries. And sources within the company are now confirming that a deal between Vodafone and Apple is pretty much sealed, Bright Magazine reported.

When asked for its reaction by Tech.co.uk, Vodafone refused to comment.

Apple has set a date for the European launch of the Apple iPhone for the last quarter of 2007. Whether we'll get an updated model with 3G capabilities remains to be seen.