In early November, Southeast regional carrier C Spire Wireless became the fourth carrier to carry the iPhone in the US. As a quick primer, C-Spire used to be called Cellular South and has about 800,000 or so subscribers in Southern states such as Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
When the iPhone 4S first hit C Spire Wireless, their subscriber plans attracted attention to the extent that its base plan was available at only $50/month.
Now, C Spire Wireless is shaking things up again.
The company announced last week that it was dropping the price of the iPhone 4S by $50. So customers who sign up for a 2-year contract can buy purchase a 16GB iPhone 4S for $149, a 32GB for $249, and the 64GB model for $349.
9to5Mac adds that “C-Spire uses the same EV-DO 3G network that Sprint and Verizon use and C-Spire customers hop on those networks when roaming outside of C-Spire’s Wireless footprints.”
Meanwhile, larger US carriers like T-Mobile are still being left out of the iPhone party. Just recently, T-Mobile attributed a large stream of subscriber defections to their lack of the iPhone. During the last 3 months of 2011 alone, T-Mobile lost over 800,000 subscribers. In a press release regarding the company’s Q4 2011 earnings, it stated that the company was “negatively impacted” by the iPhone 4S launch on 3 rival carriers.
On the other side of the coin, US Cellular, a notable regional US carrier isn’t at all interested in signing on the dotted line with Apple, at least not with the terms Apple wants it to agree to.
Apple reportedly reached out to US Cellular prior to the iPhone 4S launch only to be rebuffed.
U.S. Cellular turned down Apple’s iPhone because it did not make sense for the company economically, CEO Mary Dillon said on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call.
Dillon said that the carrier had the opportunity to sell the iPhone but that Apple’s “terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint.” Dillon added that the potential strain on the company’s network was not a factor in the decision, and that U.S. Cellular remains open to carrying the iPhone in the future.