updated 06:47 pm EDT, Fri October 25, 2013
May hint at more regional carriers taking on new cellular iPad models
After earlier announcing that it would begin carrying the new iPhone models on Friday, November 8, US Cellular has added that it will start carrying the new cellular version of the iPad Air on the same day. The news may hint that other smaller, regional carriers have thus-far-unannounced plans to offer the iPad Air as well. All the new models will be able to take advantage of US Cellular's LTE network, and comes on the heels of similar announcements by C Spire and Bluegrass Cellular.
Currently, US Cellular is the country's fifth-largest carrier by subscriber base, but is well behind any of the "big four" (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) -- which is why it had to wait until November 8 to get the iPhones, the first time the carrier has ever offered Apple's smartphone. A spokesperson said that US Cellular planned to offer a range of data plans for 3G/LTE capable iPad buyers.
Obtaining the iPhone and iPad after never having had it before should help US Cellular increase its subscriber base as well as help retain customers that would otherwise be lost to competitors. It has had that effect for all three of the larger carriers that added the iPhone within the last two years.