Small phone companies to sell iPhone at discount

April 4, 2012 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- A group of small, regional cellphone companies announced Wednesday that they're going to start selling the iPhone, at prices that undercut the big carriers.

NTelos Wireless of Virginia; Appalachian Wireless of Kentucky; and Alaska Communications, Matanuska Telephone Association and GCI of Alaska all said they will begin selling the iPhone on April 20.

Cellcom of Wisconsin told WSAW, a Wausau TV station, that it would be part of the launch. Cellcom didn't return messages left by The Associated Press.

With the exception of Matanuska, the companies said they will charge $150 for the basic 4S model. That's $49 less than what AT&T, Verizon and Sprint charge. A two-year service contract is required. Matanuska didn't say how much it would charge for the phone.

Another small regional phone company, Mississippi-based C Spire Wireless, started selling the iPhone last year. A bigger regional company, U.S. Cellular, has said it turned down the iPhone because it was too expensive.

Phone companies subsidize the iPhone, which costs about $600 wholesale. Selling it means shouldering a big upfront cost. Ntelos Chief Financial Officer Stebbins Chandor said the phone would start paying off in 2014.

Ntelos CEO James Hyde said it needed the iPhone to fill a gap in its smartphone lineup and compete with other carriers. In the first quarter, the company lost about 5,000 subscribers from its contract-based plans, which are the most lucrative, while adding subscribers to cheaper prepaid services.

Shares of Ntelos, Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. and General Communication Inc. all fell Wednesday, a down day for the broader market. The other companies are privately held.

Ntelos Holdings Corp. is based in Waynesboro and has about 421,000 subscribers in Virginia, West Virginia and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky under the nTelos Wireless brand.

Anchorage-based GCI and Alaska Communications have 140,000 and 118,000 subscribers, respectively.

Explore further: Report says Sprint to get iPhone in October

0 shares

Related Stories

Report says Sprint to get iPhone in October

August 23, 2011

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp., the country's third-largest cellphone company, will start selling the iPhone in mid-October, The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.

A buyer's guide to the new iPhone 4S

October 5, 2011

(AP) -- Apple is trotting out a new iPhone on Oct. 14, but it's not the iPhone 5 some were expecting. Instead, it's a more modest upgrade, the iPhone 4S. Here are some facts to help you decide if it's time to make the plunge.

Tiny US phone company is getting iPhone

October 19, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc. said Tuesday that C Spire Wireless, the country's eighth-largest phone company, will start selling the iPhone 4S in a few weeks.

US Cellular: We turned down iPhone

November 4, 2011

(AP) -- U.S. Cellular, the country's sixth-largest cellphone company, says it had the opportunity to carry the iPhone but turned it down because the phone is too expensive.

IPhone sucks subscribers away from T-Mobile USA

February 23, 2012

(AP) -- Customers have been leaving T-Mobile USA, the country's No. 4 cellphone company, for the last two years. Now that all three of the bigger carriers have the iPhone, that stream has turned into a flood.

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.