Wireless carriers will typically do anything and everything to become an iPhone partner. But there have been some operators that have turned down the opportunity to carry the handset, such as US Cellular.

America’s 6th largest wireless carrier told investors last month that it had just turned down a deal from Apple regarding its smartphone, citing “unacceptable terms.” Now the operator is saying the iPhone’s lack of “cutting edge” technology also played a factor in its decision to walk…

TDS (US Cellular’s parent company) CEO, Ted Carlson, made some interesting comments during his speech at the recent Global Media and Communications conference regarding US Cellular’s decision to turn down Apple’s handset.

“We’re never going to say never about the iPhone. The iPhone for us would need to be at the cutting edge of where we’re going, and then there might be an opportunity to consider it.”

Carlson was referring to the fact that US Cellular is currently working on migrating its nationwide network to LTE technology, and likened the costly venture to “changing the nervous system” of the company.

While we can certainly understand the carrier’s situation, we can’t figure out why the CEO would make a comment like that. If you sunk all of your available resources into building an LTE network and can’t afford Apple’s expensive terms, just say that.

[9to5Mac via FierceWireless]

  • And plastic, thick, bulky phones with unstable software is?

    • wrong

    • The Droid RazR is skinny

      • Anonymous

        Skinny but their oftware running on top of android is us freaking bad….and it crashes lol

      • The droid Razr is still thicker than the iPhone 4/4s. Don’t argue. Going by facts here

      • Dinh-Van Colomban

        Fact: Droid razr Depth : 7.1mm
        Fact: iPhone 4(s) Depth : 9.3 mm

        …. Just going by the facts here…..

    • Jon Garrett

      when the iPhone 3G was plastic and bulky you wasnt complaining were you? there’s nothing bulky about my S2 and Ive had no issues with the OS. your shinny new iPhone 4S however still cant get more than 20 minutes of battery life, you still get muted outing calls, you still get echos on your outgoing calls and you still got those insert SIM error messages. all of that on top of 3 versions of iOS 5 in little over 30 days. FAIL.

      • @Dihn- that doesn’t count the huge camera on the back! Thats counting just the main body! the camera is still part of the phone! @Jon I never liked the 3gs that much, but when that design came out it was absolutely amazing and completely cutting edge. Of course, compared to new phone the 3gs isn’t a good phone really at all.

      • Jon Garrett

        the iPhone 4 is a beautiful design, but so is the Galaxy S II (t mobile version) several HTC phones and the Galaxy Nexus. but to call the ugly, bulky, cheap etc etc is just silly. Id rather have a plastic phone that’s powerful, full of features and wont drop when I break it than a pretty device made of glass and running a very restricted OS.

      • wrong grammar. tsk. Fail!

  • AP

    I’m not a particular fan of Apple products anymore, however, U.S. Cellular is crap. God awful service, phones, customer service, everything about their company is garbage. Nothing about this company is “cutting edge”. This kind of phrase from a company that used to be Primeco. Anyone else remember the little red martian?

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure they have no cell phones that are more then 2 years old on their network.

  • I can understand why carriers would make a decision like this. Its the same reason one of us might hold off on buying a 4S and wait for the iphone 5 to come out. There are a ton of new Android phones coming out this year that will probably be superior to the iPhone 4S in hardware specs. Why spend MILLIONS of dollars securing a deal with Apple for a device that isn’t breaking any new ground technologically. Its better for these smaller carriers to hold onto their money and wait for the iPhone 5 to come out before they strike a deal with Apple.

    • Anonymous

      One thing Android phones has teached us is that just because it has better hardware specs doesn’t mean it’s a better phone.

      • Jon Garrett

        One thing your iPhone didn’t “teached” is you is proper grammar.

      • Anonymous

        On my goodness I made a grammar mistake. Kill me now. I smell a Troll.

      • Thats true, it is the iOS software and hardware build quality that sets the iPhone apart from the horde of Android phones, but still… 3.5″ screen, last year’s A5 chip, same design. The 4S just isn’t up to par with the new Android phones on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, I own the 4S and I love it, but from a financial POV, the 4S just doesn’t seem to be worth the investment for smaller carriers. They’re better off waiting for the iPhone 5.

      • True but if they’re planning to wait for the iPhone5, they shouldn’t make any comments that might affect the future business with apple.

  • Anonymous

    Most likely just an excuse to tell the shareholders because they are broke and can’t afford a contract for the iPhone.. Plus I’ve never even seem one of their stores and I live in so-cal..

  • praise the lord

  • US Cellular obviously hasn’t realized that iPhone is the most US of any phone. Where does the iPhone launch first? That’s right.. The US. Where do most androids launch first? Well there are a lot launching to places outside the US. Several years ago US cellular was still rocking Easy Edge so don’t let them fool you into thinking they are cutting edge. They have good voice service and that’s where it ends. Sorry US cellular but I’ll stick with my iPhone over here on your competitors network.

    • Jon Garrett

      where is the iPhone manufactured? NOT the US, and where does it get 1/3 of its components? NOT from US companies.

      • I didn’t say that. I’m just saying the hardware and software are designed in the US and a company like US Cellular should appreciate that. Iphone releases FIRST in the US whereas other phones launch in Korea or wherever first and that’s why I don’t buy them. I want my phone on zero day. That is all.

      • Jon Garrett

        but what’s the difference between Apple launching in US first versus HTC or Samsung launching in Korea first? why would a US company launch overseas first and why should an overseas company launch in the US first?

        what difference is there in US customers waiting an extra month or two for a Samsung phone and people in their country having to wait an extra month or two for an iPhone?

        a company like US cellular count care less about where something is made, if the product does not fit into their business model then it just don’t fit.

        dude, seriously. I love US companies just as much as you do but when I look around my home, I don’t see much “Made in the US” I wish more than anybody else that this wasn’t the case cause then we’d see Americans with Jobs but instead we’ve lost our manufacturing jobs to foreign companies.

        whats the most popular electronics brand in America? Sony, Samsung, HTC etc etc
        whats the most popular cars in America? Hyundai, Toyota, BMW etc etc
        who made those clothes you’re wearing?

      • Mitchell Christopher

        lets be honest here people. most phones aren’t manufactured in the US.

  • Daniel

    What complete idiots. I am a US Cellular customer and there is nothing cutting edge about their network or phones, and customer service is shit.

    • Jon Garrett

      but you’re still a customer….and blogging on a site about a phone which you’ll never get. lol.

      • Daniel

        I won’t be a customer for long, as soon as my contract ends I’m buying the current-generation iPhone on a carrier other than US Cellular.

  • Anonymous

    What the f$(k is US cellular? Never heard of them…is it like those operators that only work in places like Ohio or Utah? Lol

  • Anonymous

    In other words, their network isn’t cutting edge enough for the iPhone

  • By saying this he has raised the profile of his company, but I doubt Apple will ever give th the iPhone after this..hahahaha

  • Jon Garrett

    here we go again, the article was just fine until the very end. “If you sunk all of your available resources into building an LTE network and can’t afford Apple’s expensive terms, just say that.”

    are you serious? expensive terms? what does that mean? they want LTE and apple doesn’t offer that while others do, its that simple.

  • Man, it doesn’t get any more cutting edge than that logo.

  • Is this a joke? Good one there US Cellular. iPhone 3GS is too cutting edge for them I bet. Here at my shop we have androids for sell and most of them don’t fall in the smartphone plan like the iPhone, we keep them in the basic plan.

  • Us Cellular sucks. None of their phones are good for a teenager of today. I hate them all. Mine is 100 dollars more than the iPhone, and it SUCKS! For what my parents pay for our phones, they suck. Most of the employees, though, are quite nice. But the business as a whole, it’s stupid. I wanted an iPhone for years now, but apparently it’s too “cool” for them. I can’t wait til my contract is up and my parents and I are forced to get over priced phones with little things to do compared to other phones form other companies, and inane apps, if any.