Mobile phone giant Vodafone will muscle into the iPhone market on 14 January with its UK launch of the popular handset.

It has also released its prices today which, on the whole, fail to undercut existing tariffs (see the Cheapest iPhone guide).

Vodafone will become the fourth provider to offer the phone after O2, Orange and Tesco Mobile.

The cheapest Vodafone deal available sees the iPhone 3G available for £30 a month on a two-year contract, after a £59 upfront fee (giving you 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet browsing a month).

The popular 16GB 3GS phone (the updated version) is free on two-year contracts of £45-a-month and up (£45 gets you 1,200 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet data).

On an 18-month contract, if you plump for a mid-range £35-a-month deal, you'll pay £149 for the phone and get 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB internet usage.

In contrast, for the same monthly price O2 and Orange charge around £185 for the handset, and you get 600 minutes, 500 texts and unlimited internet on O2 (750MG limit on Orange).

Where Vodafone scores well, is on its unlimited texting allowance on most plans (see Vodafone costs in full).

Tesco only caters for the low-end and high-end markets but offers the cheapest monthly tariff at £20/month (see Tesco iPhone prices).

Further reading/Key links

Slash mobile costs: Cheap Mobiles
Sell old mobiles: Sell Old Mobiles
iPhone guide: Cheap iPhones
Price guide: Vodafone costs