U.S. Cellular Turned Down iPhone over 'Unacceptable' Terms from Apple

us cellular logo
FierceWireless reports on comments from U.S. Cellular CEO Mary Dillon, who claims that the mobile phone carrier turned down a proposed deal to offer the iPhone because it considered Apple's terms to be "unacceptable". The decision is not final, however, and U.S. Cellular could offer the iPhone at some point in the future if a deal can be struck.

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.

U.S. Cellular, headquartered in Chicago, is the sixth-largest mobile phone company in the United States with over 6 million subscribers. Behind the top tier of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA lies a group of so-called "super-regional" carriers led by MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular, and Cricket. Interest in the possibility of these super-regional carriers being able to offer the iPhone was sparked by last month's announcement from C Spire Wireless that it had landed a deal for the iPhone. C Spire ranks at the lower end of the super-regional group, with under a million customers on its network.

Earlier this week, the Czech arm of Telefonica/O2 announced that it would be dropping the iPhone entirely after it was unable to reach a deal with Apple for the iPhone 4S. The company cited Apple's "business terms" as the reason for the discontinuation, and U.S. Cellular's disclosure today adds further evidence that some carriers simply don't see the economic advantage to offering the iPhone even as other carriers are working hard to land the device.

Top Rated Comments

samcraig Avatar
124 months ago
Very foolish of them. It's their loss.

Maybe. Maybe not. If the model wasn't proving profitable for them - then it's not their loss.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
124 months ago
No one knows the terms Apple was discussing. Maybe Apple required a guarantee of 20 million up front - or whatever the amount was and USC just didn't want to or have that money to gamble.

Amazing how some people here immediately condemn them just because they didn't sign a deal with Apple as if it's a sin.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
124 months ago
That's fine. US Cellular, while being decent in customer service, is generally considered a regional "budget" option similar to Cricket. If they want everything to be free and loaded with crapware, they are more than welcome to keep selling the janky phones they currently carry.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B777Forevar Avatar
124 months ago
Yet at the same time t-mobile is probably begging for the iPhone
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dagamer34 Avatar
124 months ago
Never heard of 'em.

Because you don't live near Chicago?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lostngone Avatar
124 months ago
Well...

If a cell carrier doesn't like the terms of service Apple must be doing something right.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...