Apple has been widely criticised for the lack of 3G in the Apple iPhone, but now O2 says that the EDGE network is good enough to give a "great experience" for Apple iPhone users in the UK.

An O2 insider we spoke to this morning said the lack of 3G in the Apple iPhone was unlikely to be a major problem for most users. "Most of our Apple iPhone customers will do most of their mobile internet business over Wi-Fi," the O2 employee told Tech.co.uk.

"Our deal with The Cloud means that Apple iPhone users - who are likely to have Wi-Fi connectivity at home and at work already - will have access to free Wi-Fi at 7,500 hotspots across the country." The Cloud asks you for your phone number when you first log on at a hotspot and then subsequently recognises your phone whenever you walk into another hotspot.

"Great experience"

He added that using the EDGE network will still give a "great experience" when doing less data-heavy web browsing, such as checking the news or doing a Google search.

Around 30 per cent of the UK population - primarily in urban areas where data traffic is proven to be the highest - will have EDGE coverage at the the time of the Apple iPhone launch, and the network will be extending further with time.

O2 wouldn't comment on whether selling future 3G-equipped versions of the Apple iPhone was included in its deal with Apple, just that the two firms had signed a "multi-year deal".