iPhone: Vodafone could sign deal with Apple

Vodafone is the latest operator said to be close to an iPhone deal with Apple

Apple is finalising a deal with Vodafone to bring the iPhone to Europe, according to the latest iPhone rumours.

Vodafone has once again emerged as a frontrunner to sign an exclusive deal with Apple for the European launch of the iPhone, although it's unclear yet which territories the proposed deal would cover.

The latest reports suggest Apple is on the verge of agreeing a deal with Vodafone which could be announced within the next couple of weeks. However, when asked about the impending deal by Tech.co.uk, a Vodafone spokesperson declined to comment.

Apple is addressing some issues with the iPhone requested by Vodafone and other potential European mobile operator partners, sources quoted by Unstrung suggest. These include getting the iPhone's YouTube application to work more like the internet version, with multiple word searches and ensuring that the iPhone's calendar application syncs more reliably with Outlook and Exchange.

3G capability

Added support for Cisco Systems' firewalls and simplification of the Wi-Fi security codes and procedures are being looked into as well. And in addition, improvements to the web browser, including the addition of a cut-and-paste option are being addressed.

Another more obvious enhancement European operators would like to see on the iPhone before it crosses the Atlantic is the addition of 3G capability.

Other recent iPhone rumours have suggested that Orange could be lined up to be Apple's iPhone partner in France. There is speculation that an announcement could be made at the forthcoming Apple Expo in Paris, which runs from 25th to 29th of September.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has been identified as the most likely potential Apple mobile operator partner in Germany, while O2 has previously been cited as a possible UK candidate for the iPhone, too.