C Spire Beats T-Mobile to the iPhone 4S
C Spire , aka the operator formerly known as Cellular South, will become the fourth in the U.S. to carry the iPhone 4S, it proclaimed on its home page Wednesday.
The regional operator didn’t offer a launch date or pricing for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)’s latest iPhone. The device, purchased by more than 4 million people in its first weekend on the market, is also available from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). (See Apple Sells 4M iPhones in First Weekend.)
Why this matters
The one name notably absent from the list of iPhone 4S carriers is T-Mobile US Inc. , and the addition of an even smaller carrier makes the exception more glaring. C Spire is a CDMA carrier, so Sprint and Verizon's version of the handset will work out of the box on its network, whereas T-Mobile operates on different GSM frequencies from AT&T, thus requiring a new handset. Still, it would be an easy upgrade for Apple to add AWS support, making T-Mobile's exclusion more likely a business decision than a technology one. (See iPhone 5: Apple Can Have 4G But Not the World.) Either way, the iPhone 4S is an important win for C Spire, which just rebranded to focus more on personalization and data services. C Spire is also a vocal opponent of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, which would make an iPhone 4S for Magenta more likely. (See Cellular South Files to Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger.) For more
Apple plans to add more carriers and countries to the iPhone 4S roster before the end of the year. Read up on the phone’s launch below.
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- Photos: Apple iPhone 4S Launch Day
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- Photos: Apple's iPhone 4S Unveiling
- Apple's Latest Is a Faster 3G 'Worldphone'
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile