Interest in the next generation 3G iPhone is almost four times than that for its 2G predecessor according to mobile phone retailer O2.

According to O2, which along with Carphone Warehouse has the exclusive rights to the iPhone in the UK, more than 130,000 people have pre-registered their interest in the handset since it was unveiled last week.

Apple has allowed O2 to heavily subsidise the new handset for contract customers after many consumers were put off by the£269 price tag.

O2 will be able to give the phone away free on some contracts when it goes on sale on July 11.