According to the report, both 3 and T-Mobile are searching Europe for "contract-free" Apple iPhones. Basically, it sounds like they are looking for unlocked iPhones they can use in their own networks, so as to prevent their customer from bolting to one of the other networks to get access to the iPhone.
T-Mobile had already been reported as offering unlocked iPhones to high-value customers, but this is the first time that 3 has been reported as doing so as well. Prior reports said that T-Mobile was limited this to 150 units a week to avoid too much publicity.
With this move, however, every U.K. carrier would have access to the iPhone. The inclusion of Vodafone and Orange already pointed to a possible price war, now what?
Makes you U.S. residents wish AT&T's big competitor, Verizon, had a GSM network or LTE already set up, doesn't it, so it could acquire the iPhone more easily.