U.S. Cellular announced Friday that it will begin carrying Apple products later this year but remained vague on the details.
If the iPhone 5 is one of the Apple products the company is referring to, it will be the last of the major carriers to begin carrying the top-selling smartphone. And a company that already has hot products like Samsung's Galaxy S3 and the HTC One should surely carry Apple's iPhone.
"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 company wrote in a quarterly earnings release.
The move is a huge change in thinking for the carrier. The company stated in 2011 that it wouldn't carry the iPhone because Apple's terms didn't make sense to the company. CEO Mary Dillon said she was open to carrying the phone at the time and it looks like both sides found their compromise.
U.S. Cellular hasn't released any other details of which Apple products the company would carry and exactly when the products would hit the shelves. The carrier is also rolling out changes to its network by upgrading to the 850 MHz spectrum and launching its own high-speed 4G LTE network. Of course, Apple's flagship the iPhone 5, has 4G LTE, according to AppleInsider.