By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Vodafone Australia this morning announced that it will offer the iPhone for free on a $69 per month, 2-year contract.

Vodafone claims this is the best price in the market for an iPhone 3G. For $69 per month over 24-months, customers will receive $340 credit per month, which can be applied to voice calls, text messages and standard services, and 250 megabytes of mobile data per month. This offer applies to the 8-gigabyte model only.

“Vodafone is thrilled to be offering iPhone 3G for $0 on the $69 iPhone plan, the first time this has ever been offered in Australia”, said Vodafone Australia general manager of consumer markets Edward Goff. "There has never been a better time to buy an iPhone,”

“iPhone 3G combines three products in one – a revolutionary phone, widescreen iPod and breakthrough internet device, to create an incredible mobile experience.

“With fast 3G networking, GPS mapping and support for enterprise features including Microsoft Exchange, iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips.

“The groundbreaking App Store provides access to tens of thousands of applications from games to social networking to financial planning and health management, generating more than 800 million downloads to date.”