Apple practices usual scaled US rollout
Two American regional carriers, US Cellular and C Spire, have announced plans to sell the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on September 19 -- the same day as national carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Other regionals will only begin offering the device on September 26, including Alaska Communications, Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Silver State Communications, Strata, and Syringa Wireless. Some will reveal their plans soon, including GCI, nTelos, Carolina West Wireless, Chariton, Consumer Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, and Thumb Cellular.
Apple Stores now selling Mini to walk-in shoppers
Apple's US online storefront has begun selling SIM-free unlocked models of the iPhone 5s. Units are currently shipping in 1 to 2 weeks. T-Mobile models are also unlocked, and shipping in just 3 to 5 days, but going with the SIM-free option may save some hassle for people choosing AT&T or a pre-paid GSM carrier.
Marks first entry of US regionals into iPad market
Two regional US carriers, C Spire and Bluegrass Cellular, have announced plans to begin selling the iPad Air. C Spire -- based in Mississippi -- says that it will start carrying the Air "in the coming weeks." No other details are available, other than promises to offer a "range of attractive data plans" for connecting to LTE. Kentucky's Bluegrass is likewise only saying it will carry the Air within the next few weeks. The tablet will initially launch in the US on November 1st.
Two Canadian carriers added as well; stocks still in short supply
At least nine US regional carriers will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c on October 1, according to announcements. The list so far includes Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, GCI, MTA, Nex-Tech Wireless, Ntelos, and Strata. Some other carriers have stated that the new iPhones are "coming soon," which could imply launches as soon as the 1st. In addition to the US carriers, Canadian regional providers SaskTel and MTS are also part of the October 1 rollout.
Like Cricket, tied to later launch date
Several more US carriers have announced plans to support the iPhone 5. Chief among these is C Spire Wireless, which was the first regional carrier in the US to get the device. The other companies stepping forward are also regionals, namely Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, and GCI. In each case the carriers will only launch the new iPhone on September 28th, a week after AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.
Plans cover hotspots, tablets, USB modems
Regional operator C Spire has announced the rollout of its new no-contract mobile data plans. The plans are available for data-only devices like tablets, mobile hotspots, and USB modems. The new no-contract options also give customers the choice to switch between contract and prepaid rates depending on their expected data usage.
nTelos becomes fifth US iPhone carrier
(Update 2: Alaska Communications and three others too) In an unexpected move, relatively small US carrier nTelos has unveiled iPhone plans. The Virginia-based, nationally-focused carrier will start carrying Apple's hardware at 7AM on April 20, with pre-registrations starting immediately. It will have a unique advantage in starting with lower prices: the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be available for $50 less than usual across every model, starting the 8GB iPhone 4 at $50 on a contract and the 16GB iPhone 4S at $150.
FCC moves on possibly mandating 700MHz unity
The FCC in an Open Commission Meeting Wednesday morning unanimously voted to pursue possibilities for significantly improving 4G's use in the US. It would verify whether there would be any adverse effect to making the 700MHz A, B, and C blocks of spectrum interoperable, letting one roam on the other. Agency officials would want outside input on what the rules would be if there were little to no interference, as well as whether any interference might be cut back.
C Spire outlines more definitive LTE plans
C Spire gave out more definitive plans for its delayed LTE rollout on Thursday. The regional carrier will focus on Mississippi and cover both the core of Jackson, the Gulf Coast, and 23 individual towns. Among the examples include Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and West Point.
Sprint owes big subscriber turnaround to iPhone
Sprint on Wednesday revealed a huge upswing in subscriber additions through its inaugural quarter of iPhone sales. It sold 1.8 million iPhones during the fall, 40 percent of which went to people new to the network. Apple's device was almost single-handedly responsible for returning Sprint to performance it hasn't seen in years: at 1.6 million net new subscribers, it saw the most adds since 2005 and had set a new high for its customer base at 55 million.
Regional US carriers talk new LTE plans
Two US regional carriers saw contrasting results for their LTE rolluts on Thursday. C Spire had set a goal of having LTE-based 4G on its network by the end of 2011, but in a response to FierceWireless declined to say what adjusted schedule it might have. The former Cellular South may have been counting on rules requiring LTE interoperability from AT&T devices that weren't granted with the Qualcomm spectrum handover in December.
Verizon more than doubles iPhone sales
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo in remarks at a Citigroup media and telecoms conference revealed the highest-ever sales rate for iPhones on a US carrier. Slipping out information before the actual quarterly results, the executive mentioned 4.2 million iPhones being sold in the fall. The amount was nearly twice as many as the 2.3 million maximum Verizon had seen before and just above an all-time high of 4.1 million, set by AT&T last fall.
C Spire and Sprint to wait and see on ATT T-Mobile
C Spire and Sprint together were granted motions on Tuesday to freeze their lawsuits against AT&T over its proposed takeover of T-Mobile. Filed in tandem with AT&T, they agreed to stop in the wake of the Department of Justice staying its case. The two CDMA carriers implied they would resume action if AT&T tried restarting the takeover process.
iPhone 3GS shipments hint strong seller
In spite of being over two years old, the iPhone 3GS is still poised to ship in large numbers in the next half-year if rumors from the supply chain are accurate. Estimates from contacts for Digitimes have two million of the phone shipping in the fall. Another 1.4 million to 1.6 million would ship in early 2012, they heard.
Phone features Playstation inspired gamepad
Regional carrier C Spire is now offering the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone. Its version is similar to that on Verizon and centers on a slide-out gamepad to let it play ports of older PlayStation games and newer titles. It continues to center on a four-inch, 480x854 display and a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon.
iPhone 4S demand still pushing limits
Some clues to the iPhone 4S' sustained demand six weeks out has emerged on Friday. Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger told TechCrunch that there had been two million new users just in November for the iOS-only app, which he credited to the new Apple smartphone. His remarks were borne out by the device already becoming Flickr's second most popular camera phone in five weeks.
Waiting times up to three weeks at Verizon
AT&T and Verizon are crediting long waits for the iPhone 4S to high demand, rather than Apple's ability to supply, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We are having some supply issues in the sense that demandís huge," says AT&T's president of emerging devices, Glenn Lurie. "We have had just record-breaking sales on it."
ATT denied motion to dismiss Sprint lawsuit
AT&T faced a partial setback in its attempt to clear its buyout of T-Mobile after a judge rejected its attempts to dismiss Sprint's lawsuit as well as matching complaints from C Spire. Both of the smaller carriers were allowed to try and block the deal as allegedly anti-competitive. Judge Ellen Huvelle stripped out some of the claims, including Sprint's arguments that it would be gouged on infrastructure costs and have trouble getting wireless spectrum.
C Spire bars streaming on some iPhone plans
(Updated with policy notes) C Spire on Tuesday said it would join the third iPhone 4S launch wave by releasing its version on November 11. The device, as well as the 8GB iPhone 4, will go on sale at the same contract prices as on other carriers. No mention has been made of an off-contract option.
ATT Q3 2011 shows dip in iPhone before update
AT&T posted results for this summer that showed it as one of the most significantly hurt by the wait for the iPhone 4S. It activated 2.7 million iPhones over the period, down almost a million over 3.6 million in the spring. The iPhone still dominated AT&T's sales at over 56 percent of the 4.8 million that had traded hands, although this was down slightly from 60 percent.
Galaxy Nexus US page hints every US carrier onside
A now active signup page for the Galaxy Nexus has given a chance the Android 4.0 phone might arrive on most US carriers. The carrier preference drop-down gives the option not just for the Verizon LTE model but also AT&T, C Spire (Cellular South), MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Only niche or 'virtual' carriers like TracFone and Virgin Mobile are out of the list.
C Spire confirms iPhone 4S deal
C Spire, once known as Cellular South, confirmed Wednesday that it would be getting the iPhone 4S. The American CDMA carrier plans to carry at least the flagship of Apple's line sometime in the "coming weeks." Prices are presumed to be the same $199 to $399 on contract for 16GB to 64GB.