Apple Guarantees Success for These New Regional Carriers

Focus on the small to get bigger seems to be Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new strategy in the U.S. After signing up six regional carriers early last month, the company has wrapped up agreements with three others to take its count of regional coverage partners to double figures. As with the previous seven regional carriers, the latest three will offer on-contract Apple devices at prices lower than that of its national partners AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and Sprint (NYSE:S).

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Kentucky’s Bluegrass Cellular, California’s Golden State Cellular, and the Kansas-based Nex-Tech Wireless will begin offering the new devices on May 18 for $50 less than standard prices. They will price the iPhone 4 at $49.99 and the iPhone 4S at $149.99 (16GB), $249.99 (32GB), and $349.99 (64GB), with a contract. Pre-registrations are scheduled to start on Tuesday.

The three carriers’ networks are based on the same CDMA wireless standard used by Verizon and Sprint.

The company said the iPhone 4S was in high demand with its customers. “Bluegrass Cellular is pleased to offer iPhone 4S to our customers throughout the Bluegrass service area nationwide,” the company’s chief executive Ron Smith said. “We will give iPhone customers unparalleled service as they experience this amazing device and its unique features and applications on our network, wherever they go.”

Starting April 20, Alaska’s Matanuska Telephone AssociationAlaska Communications, and GCI; Virginia’s nTelos Wireless; Kentucky’s Appalachian Wireless; and Wisconsin’s Cellcom has begun offering the iPhone. Mississippi’s C Spire Wireless, with its 900,000 customers, has already been offering the hit Apple device since November. Of the four major carriers, only T-Mobile doesn’t yet have a partnership with Apple.

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