O2 will offer the iPhone 3G to pay as you go customers from "later this year".

While keeping any notion of a date off the table as the company tries to squeeze new contract sign-ups out of the iPhone 3G launch, the mobile operator has this morning updated the relevant section of its website with the "later this year" promise.

Lack of a pay as you go option has been cited as one of the reasons many more UK mobile phone users didn't purchase an iPhone when it originally shipped.

News that the carrier would offer a pay as you go option was welcomed, but we haven't know until now if this would appear when the product ships, or after, once subscription customer orders have been dealt with.

It's now clear pay as you go orders will be taken later. An official statement from Carphone Warehouse says the PAYG iPhone 3G will arrive "in time for the Christmas period".

As well as the not yet available pay as you go option, O2's UK customers are offered four monthly plans with prices ranging from £30 to £75 a month for the 8GB and 16GB models. £30/month gets 75 minutes of voice minutes, 125 texts and unlimited WiFi and data.