We'd been wondering why US Cellular wasn't among the new iPhone carriers ever since we heard tiny C-Spire Wireless will be carrying Apple's latest handsets, and now we know why: US Cellular CEO Mary Dillon told investors that her company turned down the iPhone because Apple's terms were "unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint." We don't know exactly what those terms were, but it's probably safe to say they were a scaled-down version of Sprint's "multibillion dollar gamble" that requires a certain number of iPhone to be purchased over the next four years — a deal that likely won't generate any profits for Sprint until 2014.

It's not hard to see why US Cellular wouldn't want to make a similar deal, but that doesn't mean the door is totally closed — Dillon said she's still willing to sell the iPhone in the future. We'll see who cracks first: Apple in its desire to expand and stem Android growth at all costs, or US Cellular in its effort to slow down another quarter of subscriber losses.