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C Spire to offer iPhone 4S for sale soon

The iPhone 4S was a huge hit for Apple when it went on sale last Friday here in the US. In addition to the overall demand for the smartphone, one of the reasons for its high sales numbers was that for the first time three wireless carriers (AT&T, Verison Wireless and Sprint) were offering the phones for sale on their respective networks. Now there's word that a fourth US wireless carrier will soon be offering the iPhone 4S for sale. Is it T-Mobile? Is it US Cellular? Nope. It's C Spire.

Yes, we know. We have never heard of C Spire before. Part of the reason is that it is the new name for Cellular South. It changed its name to C Spire just a few weeks ago. On Thursday, the company posted a brief press release annoucing it would be offering the iPhone 4S for sale "in the coming weeks." The company, which serves Mississippi and small parts of other states in the Southeast, didn't elaborate on its deal with Apple. So how in the world did C Spire, the nation's eight largest wireless carrier, convice Apple to let them sell the iPhone 4S, when there are much bigger wireless carriers in the US?

Wired reports that John Feland, the CEO of analytics firm Argus Insights, believes that Apple wanted to go after a market that the AT&T, Verizon and Sprint didn't cover as well. He said, "C Spire offers Apple access to a region typically neglected by the larger carriers and provides the potential for additional growth away from the urban centers Apple already dominates." He added, "C Spire’s strong regional presence offers Apple more bang for their buck as they continue to push off an iPhone in every hand and an iPad in every home. The Southern market is ripe for Apple’s picking."

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