The iPhone is a classy device that's winning hearts and minds - at least among anyone using the Apple mobile, but there's a low cost alternative for users searching for a little multi-touch elegance and in need of a new telephone, read on.

Apple is shaking up the mobile industry with its new iPhone, with O2 boss, Peter Erskine, describing initial sales of the device as the biggest yet for any phone his network's ever shipped.

Such strong sales may disprove many analysts who have predicted that the relatively high price of the product and its lack of support for 3G may prove the unravelling of Apple's plans.

Strong sales and hordes of so far satisfied customers will be their own advertising for future sales, keeping customers happy weaves a special magic all of its own.

But £269 is still £269, and not everyone has that kind of folding cash available.

Many other potential iPhone customers may well choose to await the introduction of a 3G-capable version of the product, which hot rumour reckons isn't going to appear before the end of next year, after the 3G standards body develop and agree a new low powered version of the standard.

That low power version of 3G is in development now and is likely to demand significantly less battery power to run - answering Apple's key argument against including support for the standard in iPhone v.1.

Meanwhile, what is a hapless iPhone fan who either lacks the cash, or really madly truly deeply wants 3G to do while they await iPhone v .2.

My advice? Use an iPod touch. This is a wonderful product, offers many of the iPhone's features (though criminally stripped of an email application, which I think's incredibly short-sighter of Cupertino, which shouldn't forget the iPhone's killer feature is that it is an iPhone) and will also be able to host legitimate third party applications when these begin to ship next year.

Not just that - it also offers 16GB of storage. And better still, you can get one of the sexy little devices absolutely free, and get a new mobile phone into the bargain.

If you're short of cash, need a new mobile, want a slice of Apple multi-touch magic and want a portable media player with one of the best screens out there, then shoot along to the mobile phone price comparison sites.

I've spent a little time on the Dial-A-Phone website, and come across literally dozens of deals in which customers signing up for a new phone and a new contract (some including 900 minutes of calls and unlimited texts each month). These deals may not compete with the free mobiles that do the rounds, but for the price of a new handset, customers can sign-up for some relatively generous tariffs and get an iPod touch for absolutely nothing.

This may be an option for many potential iPhone fans who can't get one now, for some reason - though be warned - I haven't tested these offers to ensure the iPod touch does get shipped, and isn't replaced by some third rate alternative device you don't actually need.