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UK iPhone unveiled on O2 network at London Apple Store

The wait is over. Today Apple launched the iPhone in London -- and it's the standard 8GB, non-3G version. Prepare to be disappointed if you're not on O2 and don't have £269

The wait is finally over -- Apple has officially unveiled the UK iPhone, which will be available to buy from 9 November. Steve Jobs himself made the announcement from the Apple store in London, to which we were cordially invited this morning. As expected, it's on the O2 network and we won't be getting the 4GB version, we'll only get the 8GB one, which will set you back £269 including VAT.

In terms of the monthly contract you'll have to pay on top of the two hundred and sixty nine smackeroos for the handset, it stands at £35, £45 or £55 per month over an 18-month contract. That's a whopping £899 to £1,259 in total -- now that's a nerd tax. It's very pricey compared to getting a free phone, but you will get unlimited data -- which is actually limited to 1,400 Web pages a day "as part of the fair usage agreement".

The O2 store has more details of the tariffs: £35 a month buys you 200 minutes, 200 texts, unlimited data and Wi-Fi and free voicemail. £45 upgrades that to 600 minutes and 500 texts, while the top-end £55 contract gets 1,200 minutes and 500 texts. Hardly generous, we have to say.

If you were waiting for a 3G iPhone, unfortunately you're going to have to keep on waiting -- Jobs says we'll see it "later next year". On a positive note though, O2 has upgraded its network to support EDGE, which will at least deliver faster download speeds than GPRS. Visual voicemail will also be enabled, as in the US. And O2 has promised that 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots (from the The Cloud) will be free for iPhone users to use.

O2 has partnered with Carphone Warehouse for distribution -- you can buy it in an Apple store too, of course -- and has promised 1,000 customer service agents will be dedicated to iPhone customers.

We'll also be putting up a video later on in the day on the Crave homepage. In the meantime, you can read our full review of the iPhone from CNET.com, which will be updated soon with any UK-specific details. Click through for photos from the event. -Andrew Lim

Update: A video of the UK iPhone launch is now live on the site.

We turned up at Apple's Regent Street store in London at 10am sharp.

The gentlemen of the press assemble.

And unexpectedly, Apple chief Steve Jobs appears. Ooooh...

Steve whips out some girthy numbers -- 1 million iPhones sold in 74 days in the US.

Predictably, the iPhone is on the O2 network. Steve claims it's "the most popular". Ahem.

O2 boss Matthew Key is wheeled on to gloat. Carphone Warehouse, free Wi-Fi, blah blah blah. He doesn't mention that it'll cost you a minimum of £899 to use an iPhone for 18 months, and that's with a miserable 200-minute package.

Jobs comes to his rescue, and is promptly hit with the 3G question. He plays an unconvincing forward defensive stroke: it saps battery. Hmm.

Enough of the yapping. Here's an authentic CNET.co.uk hand on a UK iPhone. Huzzah. The purple icon at the bottom right is for the iTunes Wi-Fi Store, which should be up and running in time for the iPhone's release.

Oooh, it is thin, isn't it?

The top demurely offers you a headphone jack and the power button...

...while the bottom features the standard iPod connector and the speakers.

Here's the touchscreen keypad.

And here's Safari, browsing happily over Wi-Fi. O2 says iPhone users will be able to use 7,500 Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots for no extra charge. We should think not.

Here's the dock. Note the naff white headphones, clashing away.