U.S. Cellular CEO: We turned down iPhone due to ‘unacceptable terms’

“Consumers pay $200 for the base model of the iPhone 4S, but Apple charges carriers about $600 for it. Carriers count on making their money back in service fees over the life of the contract,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.

“U.S. Cellular CEO Mary Dillon told analysts on an earnings conference call Friday that ‘the terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint,'” Svensson reports. “She didn’t provide any details, but said the added load the iPhone could have placed on its data network was not a big consideration.”

Svensson reports, “Chicago-based U.S. Cellular has 5.9 million subscribers, a number that has been shrinking slowly over the past two and a half years. Only a quarter of its subscribers on contract-based plans have smartphones, compared with half at AT&T Inc.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “U.S. Cellular. We settle for less than the very best.”

Oh, wait, that sounds awful. How about: “U.S. Cellular. Second-rate or worse all the way!” Uh… “U.S. Cellular. Inferior phones to match our network.” Sigh… “U.S. Cellular. Cheap, shortsighted, and shrinking.”

Boy, after this news, it’s tough to make a good slogan for U.S. Cellular.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


    1. Cornstalk carrier. Owned by Chicago-based Telephone and Data Systems (TDS), a regional telecom CLEC (or Local exchange carrier (LEC) in some midwest locations.

    2. U.S. Cellular (USC) used to be a great mid-west service. Had it from 97 until the iPhone 2G came out. Never had a dropped call, always wondered what other people were complaining about until I got the iPhone.

      If USC got the iPhone I and 5 family members would switch at first chance.

      Daughter and son-in-law have to use USC due to where they live. The U.S.Cellular rep sold them “U.S. Cellular iPhones”, U.S.C’s words.

      They’re just HTC Heros running Android. My kids know the difference but don’t have many options since AT&T isn’t in a hurry to put up a tower nearby.

      Having played with their phones, I’m not impressed by Android.

  1. Let us see here — sold food products (Quaker Oats) and fast food (McDonalds). Dosen’t this sound like the guy who sold sugar water? How does one move from food to technology products and expect to understand that dynamic market? Oh well, we will see how this all works out.

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