T-Mobile UK sneakily offering iPhone 3G to moneyed customers

We really couldn't make this stuff up -- it would seem that T-Mobile has been sneaking some hi-tech contraband into the UK in the form of unlocked iPhone 3G handsets, which it is now peddling to its most valued clientele. And by that, of course, we mean the piggies that pay up the most every month. Limited to an extremely select 150 units a week, the Apple devices are being used as incentives for high-rolling customers to renew their eye-gouging contracts of £75 per month and above, though we suspect only a few chums in corner offices know exactly how much T-Mob is charging for the handset itself.

We've done some digging, and while O2 has exclusivity on the iPhone 3G until September, that does not prevent T-Mobile from essentially functioning as a reseller of unlocked SIM-free units. Further distancing itself from legal action, the carrier is only offering the handsets to upgrading customers (as opposed to newcomers), thus the phones technically come sans a SIM. So, the suits at Magenta Towers must be feeling pretty smug right about now, having danced through a loophole and secured a wildly popular (albeit older generation) phone, all in the name of keeping high-brow customers from jumping ship. While you won't hear any PR from T-Mobile on the matter, we have a full statement from O2 on the subject of losing 3G exclusivity come September. You ready?

We have a multi-year agreement with Apple to sell iPhone in the UK. This relationship continues.

Man, those Britons keep it short and sweet, don't they?