Apple remains on track to ship the iPhone in Europe before the end of the year, according to a senior Apple executive.

Italian Mac website caught up with Apple Europe's vice president, Pascal Cagni at WWDC this week.

The Italian language report sees Cagni once again confirm the iPhone release seems on schedule, though he refused to disclose with which operator(s) Apple is working to distribute the device in Europe.

Cagni also scotched rumours that the iPhone would be made available on a pay-as-you-go basis, telling that it would only be available on a subscription basis from the supporting network.

In related news, mobile phone networks in Europe are complaining that Apple is demanding too much from them in return for carrying the iPhone.

It has recently been claimed that Apple wants operators to install technology that supports the iPhone and has been made and is supplied by Apple deep within their data centres, which could be part of the challenge.

A VNU report sees anonymous mobile executives characterising Apple as "unbelievably arrogant" in the demands it is making, forcing some operators to say they will never offer the iPhone.

Apple's deal with Cingular/AT&T has previously been described as remarkable in that the mobile phone agreed to the partnership even without seeing the device, and offered Apple an unparalleled amount of free reign in leading the initiative on the device.

Returning to VNU, Orange is once again described as the front-runner in negotiations, on account of it already having an Apple iPhone-supported EDGE network in Europe.

Should negotiations fail, the company could instead choose to sell the device through retailers such as Carphone Warehouse. However, that retailer said it would not carry the device during its financial results call earlier this month.

Apple also has the opportunity to launch a virtual mobile network of its own in partnership with a major mobile firm with excess capacity, some analysts speculate.

Vodafone, for example, recently made a commitment to attempting to widen the number of such deals it has secured in an attempt to answer shareholder pressure.