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Sure, now that T-Mobile finally has an iPhone to call its own, it may not seem like such a big deal when a smaller carrier gets it, but U.S. Cellular customers may be pleased as punch to hear about it.
MacRumors reported Friday that U.S. Cellular appears to be the next carrier tapped for the iPhone, if a brief statement made during its quarterly earnings release is to be believed.
"We have a number of strategies in progress to increase loyalty and attract more customers, including our announcement today that we will begin offering Apple products later this year," the release said. "By further strengthening our device portfolio, we'll give consumers another great reason to switch to U.S. Cellular, and enable our existing customers to choose from an even wider variety of iconic smartphones, and enjoy the outstanding U.S. Cellular customer experiences they deserve."
While they were careful not to specifically mention the iPhone by name, the mention of "iconic smartphones" would certainly seem to indicate that's what they meant -- which is certainly a change from their position only a year and a half ago, when Apple's terms were viewed as "unacceptable" to the carrier.
With 5.7 million subscribers, U.S. Cellular ranks behind fourth-placed T-Mobile and is seemingly dwarfed by the top three (Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint). Now that MetroPCS has been absorbed by T-Mobile and others like Leap Wireless/Cricket and TracFone are already carrying the iPhone, U.S. Cellular looks like the last to join the party.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter