Tesco Mobile to offer the iPhone before Christmas

We all know that "every little helps" when it comes to forking out for an iPhone, and the news that supermarket giant Tesco will be offering

Yes you heard right – Tesco Mobile has announced it will be carrying both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3G S on its network, and hopes to get both contract and PAYG offerings on shelves in time for Christmas.

If this is the case, a pre-Christmas launch would beat Vodafone's planned release date of the handset in January – another blow to the network which already lost out to Orange on timescales.

The good news is that Recombu has been told Tesco wants to be as competitive as possible, but that pricing is still being negotiated. Could this spark off the price war we've waited for?

Although no release date has been confirmed, we do know that you'll be able to pick up the iPhone in store and online, and there's currently a holding page on the Tesco Direct website for you to register your interest.

Now the bad news for many will be that Tesco Mobile is a joint venture with O2, so will see the network receiving the same 3G coverage as O2 handsets – something O2 has not proved itself to be that strong in in recent months.

What do you think – will Tesco come in at a lower price that O2 and Orange? Does Tesco Mobile sharing O2's 3G coverage bother you, or is it the price that matters? Let us know below.