Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, will sell the Apple iPhone in Britain from 2010, it said on Tuesday, finally sealing a deal to sell the popular phone in one of its biggest markets.

Vodafone, which said recently it had been hurt in Britain by not securing the iPhone deal, will join France Telecom's Orange and Telefonica's O2 in selling the phone in Britain. It will also sell it in Ireland.

Orange said on Monday it would start selling the phone before the end of this year, breaking O2's exclusive two-year hold on the phone, and raising hopes that a price war between operators would push the price down for consumers.

Vodafone said in a statement it would now offer the touchscreen smartphone through 13 of its operating companies.