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Where can you buy the iPhone 4 on UK launch day?

Ah, the iPhone 4. It’s almost here. The excitement is no doubt keeping countless fanboys across the globe from sleeping – either that or the cold hard pavement they’re lying on outside the Apple shop of their choice.

But what of you sensible people just thinking of heading down and picking one up on the day, where can you get yours? Don’t just plump for the Apple store; that’s where the hordes will be. Decide what tariff is right for you (if any) then try one of the other retailers in our handy guide.

O2 has seen so much iPhone 4 love, that it’s taken the bold decision to restrict its launch stock to existing customers only. That means you’ll need to be with O2 for either your mobile or broadband in order to get a handset from O2 before the end of July. But it’s not going to be available online until at least the end of July either, so O2 customers will need to get themselves down to an O2 store in order to get hold of the iPhone 4 this week. Check the list out here to see if your local store is opening at 8.02 am (see what they did there?).

Phones4U will have the handset in-store on Thursday – it will definitely be selling O2 handsets, which presumably means you’ll need to be an existing O2 customer (either mobile or broadband) in order to get your mitts on one. But it will also be selling it on all networks selling the iPhone, so there’s hope for Vodafone, Orange and other customers, too.

Carphone Warehouse hasn’t officially released a date yet, but O2’s website suggests that it will be selling the iPhone 4 in-store from Thursday on O2 contracts. Whether or not it’ll be carrying the handset on other networks is a bit of a punt; but with Phones4U doing so, we’d be surprised if Carphone didn’t follow suit. [Update: Good news, Carphone fans – the retailer has now confirmed that it will definitely be stocking the iPhone 4 from Thursday 24th June, so add it to you list of places to try]

Best Buy‘s website isn’t keen on committing to having the iPhone on June 24th, but O2 has again noted that Best Buy will have the iPhone 4 on sale in the Essex superstore on launch-day.

Vodafone has confirmed that it will be selling the handset instore on Thursday, but there are currently no plans to open stores early – although this may change. We’ll keep you posted…

Orange will also have the handset from June 24th, available to buy instore, online at Orange.co.uk and via telephone – spoiling you Oranginas for choice there.

Tesco Mobile stores are all set to sell iPhone 4 handsets on their 12- and 24-month contracts from Thursday June 24th – no early opening hours we’re afraid, but with some of the best contract deals around it’s where we’d be queuing.

Of course, there’s always the Apple Store itself – Apple stores around the country will be opening at 8.00am on Thursday so you may want to start queuing at least 12 hours in advance to be in with a chance of getting one.

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