No fewer than five regional carriers have announced they will be stocking the iPhone on April 20, with a sixth reported to be following suit. Alaska Communications, GCI, nTelos Wireless, Appalachian Wireless, and MTA (Matanuska Telephone Association) Solutions will all be undercutting the big three US networks by $50 on both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, with the base models starting at $149.99 and $49.99 on two-year contracts. Wisconsin-based Celcom says the iPhone is coming soon, but WSAW is reporting that the launch date — and price point — will be the same as the five confirmed carriers.
C Spire Wireless became the first regional carrier in the US to offer the iPhone, launching at $199.99 last November, but its website now has the devices at the $50 discounted price. The move to more carriers must have Sprint wondering why it was forced to take a multi-billion dollar gamble on Apple's handset, if regionals with much smaller budgets are seemingly able to sell the phones at lower prices. The carrier reported a $1.3 billion loss last quarter, with part of the blame placed on the huge cost of stocking the iPhone. Quite where the move leaves iPhone-less T-Mobile remains to be seen, but the words 'creek' and 'paddle' come to mind.