Apple's iPhone may be on the verge of gaining 3G capabilities, but the company will still need to work to persuade UK network partner O2 to offer the full benefits of the system.

Apple will reportedly endow its next-generation iPhone with support for 3G. That's great news in theory, except that O2 is restricting most of its 3G customers in the UK to a much less enticing data transfer speed - just 128Kbps, while business customers get a slightly higher, but still limited, 385Kbps.

"O2 provides data speeds of 128Kbps as standard to all 3G customers. Profiles of corporate customers who require higher speeds are modified so that they can benefit from speeds of 384Kbps," the company told The Register.

Customers wanting the higher speed connection can, apparently, simply ask for it when they buy their phone, or give O2 a call, the report explains, adding that users of 3G handsets on £35 or higher tariff can expect the higher speed.