US Cellular Turned Down Opportunity to Sell the iPhone As Too Expensive

By: Ian Mansfield | 6th Nov 2011

­Although most mobile networks seem at times desperate to be allowed to sell Apple's iPhone, US regional mobile network operator, US Cellular says that it turned down the offer from Apple.

The company said that the scale of the subsidy necessary to make the phone affordable was too risky.

US Cellular's CEO Mary Dillon told analysts that "the terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint." She did however say that the company might reconsider the issue in the future.

Apple sells the handset for around US$600 per unit, but the mobile networks then subsidise them by upwards of US$400 to bring the price down and recoup the subsidy from — hoped for — mobile data usage.

The subsidy issue is a topical one, as Sprint Nextel recently revealed that it will take until 2015 to break into profit on its own iPhone sales.

The only major network in the USA not carrying the iPhone is T-Mobile, which published an open letter last month saying that they want to sell it, but Apple wont make a version that is compatible with its 3G network.

On the web: USA Today

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Tags: [us cellular]  [apple iphone]  [USA]