Nokia has started taking sim-free pre-orders for its long-awaited Nokia N97 handset - a high-end smartphone touted by many as an iPhone killer.
Buyers can place an order directly with Nokia now for the S60 mobile phone for a payment of £499.
However, the handset will not arrive before the official release date of June 19th, when the mobile will also be launched on contract deals by a host of UK carriers.
Vodafone will reportedly offer the N97 on an 18-month contract priced at £40 per month, which includes free Nokia MD-8 Speakers.
The N97 stands out among rival smartphones for its large 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen, five megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and native support for OVI and Skype.
Nokia’s handset is also the first-ever phone to be equipped with 32GB of internal memory. This can be boosted by a further 16GB, however, by adding a microSD card.
News of developments comes as Vodafone was recently forced to issue a statement denying it is to be the sole carrier of the third edition of the iPhone.
Rumours linking the network with a partnership with Apple stemmed from the publication of a consumer guide to iPhones which was published on a Vodafone website.