Around 75 percent of iPhone owners will switch to 02 just to get their hands on Apple's handset, the operator claims.

Reuters reports that incoming head of 02, Matthew Key, said: "Over time, three out of four customers of the iPhone will be new O2 customers, because you can only get the iPhone by becoming a customer of O2."

Key also dismissed claims that iPhone sales in the UK have been lower than expected. While he refrained from offering any hard numbers, he characterised sales so far as "in line with expectations".

The network previously said it sold tens of thousands of the devices across the first weekend of the product's launch.

Orange this week confirmed it sold 30,000 iPhones in the first few days following its introduction in France at the end of November.

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