Ending months of intense, practically insane speculation, Apple just confirmed its first European carrier for the iPhone: O2 is scoring exclusive UK rights to the hotly contested device, and will be launching it on November 9th for £269 including VAT. Unlimited data comes standard with the £35, £45 and £55 voice plans, which include 200, 600 and 1200 minutes, respectively, and 200 SMS for the cheapest plan, but 500 messages for the other two. Just like the rumors (finally) predicted, Carphone Warehouse is being pulled in to beef up retail presence for O2, with 1300 retail locations, each with an "expert" on the iPhone. Naturally, Apple's not doing anything fancy here, and is announcing the same old EDGE phone we know and love here in the States -- shattering the 2007 3G pipe dreams of millions of Europeans -- but has made up for it slightly by scoring free WiFi for O2 iPhone users at the 7,500 hotspots serviced by Cloud in the UK. Those hotspots will certainly come in handy when trapesing through O2's EDGE-deficient network -- only 30% of the country will be covered by launch time. Of course, if you aren't keen on Visual Voicemail or Apple's blessing, there are certainly plenty of unlocked iPhones to be had between now and launch.

[Thanks, Josh for the O2 link]

O2 store down, iPhone launch imminent