O2 says it will have connected 200,000 iPhones by early January, in line with its own expectations, the Financial Times reports.

Apple's mobile network partner also claims 60 per cent of iPhone buyers to be new to the network, the report adds, observing that the company's chief executive, Matthew Key, travelled to California late last month to meet with Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.

Key said that about 60 per cent of users are moving an average of 25MB of web pages, media content and email each month, while just 1.8 per cent of O2 customers using traditional mobile phones access that much data. That's only data moved on O2's own network, not WiFi use.

The O2 research suggests that after years of dashed hopes for the operators, customers are on the verge of surfing the web on their mobiles in significant numbers

"Here's absolute proof that if you get the proposition right, customers will use data," Key said.