Broad Rollout of iPhone to Small U.S. Carriers Coming on April 20

Earlier today, we noted that nTelos Wireless, a CDMA carrier based in Waynesboro, Virginia, announced that it would begin carrying the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 on April 20. Pricing for the device comes in at $50 below the standard pricing charged by Apple and the major national carriers.


We've been updating that article with mentions of several other carriers that have also announced iPhone launches for that date, and it is quickly becoming apparent that this is a rather significant coordinated rollout to small CDMA carriers. Among the carriers launching the iPhone on April 20:

- nTelos Wireless (Virginia)
- Alaska Communications (Alaska)
- Appalachian Wireless (Kentucky)
- GCI (Alaska)
- Cellcom (Wisconsin): Website updated with "coming soon" banner, and WSAW reports that April 20 is the launch date.
- Matanuska Telephone Association (Alaska)

With six small carriers having already announced today, we're also asking readers to let us know if they spot word of any others involved in this rollout.

Mississippi-based C Spire Wireless was the first regional carrier in the United States to begin offering the iPhone last November, and today's announcements represent a significant expansion of that channel. While the carriers announcing availability today represent only a small fraction of U.S. mobile phone users, the trend of making the iPhone availability to these customers may help some of these carriers remain viable as the cellular marketplace continues to become increasingly dominated by the major carriers.

Update: GCI has confirmed to MacRumors that it will be offering the GSM version of all iPhone models, including the iPhone 3GS, which will be free with a two-year contract. The carrier operates both GSM and CDMA networks, and it was initially unclear on which network the latest iPhone models would run. All of the other carriers announcing today operate CDMA networks.

Top Rated Comments

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112 months ago
T-Mobile quickly becoming the only carrier that doesn't offer the iPhone. Ironic.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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112 months ago
I wish US Cellular would offer the iPhone. It's the best carrier in our area.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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112 months ago
Hey, they offer unlimited data which is better than some of the national carriers.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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112 months ago
Good for competition among carriers! If you live and work on a ranch/farm in a small town in the midwest, more power to you :)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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112 months ago
Me Mouth Breather -- Too Dumb to Understand

Only problem is the option is not widely exercised as the mouth breathers here prefer to have a subsidized device and pay double over the term in service costs.


Hey. Legitimate question. I WANT to understand and love prepaid. Everyone here that's NOT from the US pokes fun at us and our overpriced service plans and how we're all so short-sighted as to "fall for" the subsidized phone. But I must be dense... I don't see any other LOGICAL option.

Currently, I'm on at&t.
I get the "high-end" iPhone every two years. My subsidized price is $399. I pay $39.99 for my voice and text. Then slap on another $30 for iPhone Data Plan. In summary, that's a total of $400 + $70/month.
Grand total of $2,080 every two years.

It seems to me that, if I were to go with Straight Talk, I'd be looking at $1000 for a carrier-unlocked "high-end" iPhone + $45/month. That's a grand total of $2080 every two years.

(Wow... I didn't do the math until I typed it!!! That's kind of a funny coincidence.)

Beside the point that they are pretty much IDENTICAL in cost (although Finance people would say the at&t deal is "cheaper," given time-value-of-money arguments), there are other things that make me lean toward at&t, although some of these, admitedly, may be wrong/misguided:

* I get a discount for working at my company (not at&t, to be clear) that amounts to about $8/month
* I pre-order the phone and get it ON LAUNCH DAY; whereas I think that getting your hands on carrier-unlocked phones is more difficult???
* Even if I don't LIKE it, I at least UNDERSTAND at&t's data/throttling policy
* Is Straight Talk even offering 4G/LTE services? Or is their agreement with at&t always going to put them on a "second tier?"

So, why is it so DUMB-AMERICAN to fall for the subsidized phone? And please... this is a real question. This topic always comes up on MR. I've asked my palzzzzz to explain it. Nobody can. So now I'm "asking MR."

Thanks.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
112 months ago
Way to go, Mom n' Pop! Stick it to the Man!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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