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C Spire to offer iPhone

Rural wireless operator – and recent name changer – C Spire Wireless said it would begin offering Apple’s recently launched iPhone 4S “in the coming weeks.” The move is significant as it will be the first time the iconic device will be available through a regional operator.

Currently the iPhone is available through AT&T Mobility, its original home, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, which was added to the iPhone distribution list with the launch of the latest device earlier this month. Rural operators have for some time been clamoring to offer the iPhone, noting that the markets refusal to offer to the device to carriers outside of the nationwide operators was preventing millions of Americans from having access to the device and was anti-competitive.

C Spire, which recently changed its name from Cellular South, was still tight-lipped on the actual launch date or pricing, but did note that it has begun taking “pre-registration” on the device. The iPhone models currently sell for between “free” for the 3GS model at AT&T Mobility up to $400 for the 64 gigabyte 4S model at all three nationwide operators, all prices with a two-year contact.

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