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U.S. Cellular Passes On the iPhone, Tiered Plans Coming

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Nov 4, 2011, 10:52 AM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Nov 5, 2011, 9:55 AM

U.S. Cellular today said during its quarterly earnings call that it passed on selling the Apple iPhone because it was too expensive and Apple's business terms too onerous. CEO Mary Dillon said Apple's "terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint." C Spire Wireless, another regional carrier that has a nationwide roaming footprint similar to U.S. Cellular's, recently announced that it will offer the iPhone 4/4S starting November 11. U.S. Cellular also indicated during the call that it will introduce tiered data plans starting at some point in the first half of 2012, though it didn't provide specifics. Last, the company said that it plans to deploy Long Term Evolution to about 25% of its service footprint (across six different states) by the end of this year, with its first LTE devices appearing in the first quarter of 2012.

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Nov 4, 2011, 2:57 PM


U.S. Cellular won't be around in two years.


They're prepping themselves for buyout.
or everything is fine the way it is.

stop saying iphone or nothing. people still use android and, gasp, regular non-smartphones.
And you wonder why people here are always criticizing you for being an Apple shill....
LOL USCC is still VERY profitable! Their quarterly revenue and profit increases every single quarter. VZW has actually said that based on cost to buy up USCC, they could build an entire network in the Midwest for cheaper instead of having to piggyback...

Nov 4, 2011, 12:24 PM


With these kind of decisions it amazes me how this company is still in business. You don't pass up the iPhone. You don't. Love it or hate it, it sells.

This company will be Big Red's in a few years anyway so who cares. Moving on....
My understanding is that Sprint is going to get it's profits nailed short term by offering the iPhone in it's lineup.
They are going to have to pay Apple full price for the phone, turn around and sell them for it's subsidized cost and wait and wait a...
Most likely VZW will buy USC in a couple of years.
As well it will keep the playing field fair after the AT&T and T-Mobile deal goes through.
you know i remember " big bad red" passing on the iphone for 4 years for this same reason when i worked there. and didnt decide to get it until " little blue" was killing them with iphone sales even though red had a better network. I now work for usc ...
They have stayed very profitable through smart investments. Also, based off the roaming agreements that USCC has with VZW, it would cost VZW more money to buy them out than what you might think.

Nov 4, 2011, 11:40 AM

Here we go...

The start of all carriers prepaid or not going to tiered data pricing.
Ah, most people don't actually USE their smartphones anyway. Most people are just facebook freaks.

Nov 4, 2011, 10:24 PM


C Spire offers post-paid (contract) and pre-paid services.... and they aren't competitors as they do not service the same areas....

Nov 4, 2011, 3:24 PM


I don't know why so many people see this as bad. It doesn't matter how many IPhones would sell if they are not able to be obtained at a price that would make them profitable. It was never said that they would never carry the IPhone, it WAS said that Apple's "terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint". If you can't make money on it, then it makes NO sense to offer the product.
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