John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

U.S. Cellular Doesn’t Want the iPhone 4S, It Wants the iPhone LTE

U.S. Cellular could be selling the iPhone today, but it’s not.


It turned down Apple’s offer to add it to its lineup. Why would it do that, when other carriers like Sprint are paying billions of dollars for the privilege of selling the device?

According to Ted Carlson, CEO of U.S. Cellular parent company TDS, it doesn’t want the current iPhone, it wants its 4G successor.

Carlson says that U.S. Cellular’s top priority right now is expanding its LTE network and the customer base that uses it. The company would rather wait for a compatible iPhone than lock itself into a pricey deal with Apple for the iPhone 4S.

“We’re never going to say never about the iPhone,” Carlson told attendees of the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. “The iPhone for us would need to be at the cutting edge of where we’re going, and then there might be an opportunity to consider it.”

Sounds like an excuse for not inking a deal with Apple for the current iPhone. But who knows? Apple’s offer may have been … economically trying for the company. Certainly Sprint’s iPhone deal didn’t come cheap.

Of course, right now for U.S. Cellular “the cutting edge of where we’re going” appears to be northern Maine and Iowa. And the company’s full LTE build-out isn’t likely to be completed for about three years. So it has plenty of time to negotiate that next generation iPhone deal, if it wants to.

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