3 could be adding the iPhone to its range of mobiles in the near future, according to a raft on online speculation.
A report from IT Pro Portal suggests that the carrier has begun handing out iPhone 3G S mobiles to its most loyal subscribers who are coming to the end of their contracts.
A source who approached the site claims to have stuck with 3 over several years and revealed that the network is issuing the 16GB models as part of a dry run in advance of a full iPhone roll out.
The iPhone was seemingly provided free of charge after the source said he would leave 3. He has apparently received it as part of his existing £25 monthly deal that includes a mixture of 700 inclusive texts and minutes plus unlimited mobile data use.
The length of the contract is allegedly 18 months, which means that for a total of £450 the customer is getting a lot of bang for his buck.
Networks are frequently seen to give high value subscribers the opportunity to own premium smartphones.
These devices are typically unlocked SIM free imports that the company acquires in order to hang onto those consumers that provide a steady stream of revenue.
T-Mobile, Virgin Media and 3 are the only the major UK networks that do not currently officially offer the iPhone.
3's chief executive had already committed to bringing the iPhone to his network in 2010 and so these rumours could well turn out to be true.