Sources report that Apple UK is negotiating with third-party online digital-photo-processing companies to tie-up a deal meaning that UK Macintosh users will be able to submit digital-images for printing from within iPhoto.

North American iPhoto users have enjoyed this feature since the application’s introduction in January this year. Macworld UK’s editor, Simon Jary, maintains that this means Apple’s international user-base has effectively been left using “crippled” software in his column in July’s Macworld (on sale now).

The sources told Macworld UK: “Apple is in negotiations with online digital-photo-processing service providers.” The source confirmed the company to be “making progress” in the negotiations, adding: “We have a schedule for this, and the negotiations are following the schedule Apple has.”

The source would not reveal what this schedule is, but confirmed that the service should be made available to UK customers “this year.”