Despite rumours seeming to link Apple to various network operators, the latest word is that its long-rumoured iPhone could appear not locked to any network.

If true, this is very good news for potential UK purchasers.

Apple has never really seemed to care much about territories outside the US, and removing the obvious problem of having to sign up network operators would be in keeping with that.

The move would also enable Apple to continue doing what it does best with the iPod - shifting bucketloads of them.

Apple blog Think Secret previously reported that Apple had reached an agreement with Cingular for a six-month period of exclusivity.

Previous speculation has resulted in common consensus that the phone will be in the popular candybar shape. There will also be a larger-than-2-inch display and a 3-megapixel camera. Dan Grabham