U.S. Cellular announced today that it will begin offering Apple products later this year, but did not go into any additional detail. The announcement came as part of its quarterly earnings release.
U.S. Cellular, via MacRumors:
“We have a number of strategies in progress to increase loyalty and attract more customers, including our announcement today that we will begin offering Apple products later this year. By further strengthening our device portfolio, we’ll give consumers another great reason to switch to U.S. Cellular, and enable our existing customers to choose from an even wider variety of iconic smartphones, and enjoy the outstanding U.S. Cellular customer experiences they deserve. Our smartphone penetration is currently 43 percent of core market customers and growing quickly. We believe there will be strong, ongoing demand for smartphones and data products and services from our customers, and we have significant room for growth in this area.”
The announcement comes as a minor surprise, as the carrier said in late 2011 that it would not be carrying the iPhone due to “unacceptable” terms being offered by Apple.
Apple has routinely required carriers to commit to buying a certain number of iPhones over a period of years, which some carriers balk at, for fear of being left holding unsold devices.