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Brits go bonkers for cheap iPhone 4 price plans

The U.S. wasn't the only place that saw iPhone 4 madness last week. Go inside the mind of the British Apple fanatic as the new device hits--with six carriers to choose from.

Apple Store on London's Regent Street
A small queue has already formed near the entrance of the Apple Store on London's Regent Street at 6 p.m. the night before iPhone 4 launch day last week. Luke Westaway/CNET UK

Blimey, last week was an iPhone 4-filled week over at CNET UK. Not only did we publish our full and frank iPhone 4 review, completely solve the iPhone's signal difficulties, and document the midnight queue for the launch, we're still reeling at the crazy-low iPhone 4 price plans that Hutchison-owned carrier "3" announced for the U.K. market.

A brand spanking new iPhone 4 costs British customers the equivalent of just $149 (99 British pounds) including sales tax when signing up to a $45 (30 pounds) per-month, 24-month contract. That's a total expenditure of $1,233 (819 pounds) in total, with 1GB of data per month thrown in for good measure.

These decidedly affordable tariffs aren't exactly news to Apple-loving Brits. Although for many years the iPhone was exclusively available to customers who signed up with U.K.-based carrier O2, the floodgates are now open, with British consumers currently being offered a choice between six different carriers--O2, Orange, Vodafone, 3, T-Mobile, and even Tesco Mobile (Tesco is a British supermarket chain--think Wal-Mart but with more tea and crumpets).

With choice for consumers comes market competition. British customers have a choice of 12, 18, and 24-month contracts, along with pay-as-you-go plans. And they're priced competitively too.

If you fancy whipping out your calculator and working out exactly how the U.K. compares with the U.S. when it comes to iPhone 4 prices, you can see how the best iPhone 4 deals stack up at this link.

If you really want to get inside the mind of the British Apple fanatic, below is a video diary of the midnight queue for the iPhone 4 launch at Apple's U.K. flagship store on Regent Street in central London. Not only can you witness one brave reporter's swift descent into madness, it all happens to the sing-song tune of the quaint British accent. You guys like our accents, right? Right?!