Another US regional wireless carrier is set to offer the iPhone this week. As of August 16th, Cincinnati Bell will offer Apple’s iPhone 5 to customers. Cincinnati Bell is a 140-year-old telephone company in Ohio, and interestingly, it illustrates the dilemma many smaller regional carriers face when considering the iPhone. As the Cincinnati Enquirer explains:
Cincinnati Bell plans to start carrying Apple’s iPhone 5 this month, which will be the first time the company has offered the popular phone. Why the company’s opted against carrying the iPhone until now vividly illustrates its wireless dilemma: Apple can force carriers to buy a certain number of iPhones, and those carriers must eat the cost of any unsold iPhones. Carriers also typically subsidize the cost of the $600 iPhones, which they sell for about $200.
In order to afford the cost of the iPhone 5, Cincinnati Bell will actually sell the 16 GB model to customers for US$299 instead of the typical $199 on contract. The company will be offering a $100 credit for those who trade in a smart phone on August 17th or 18th when they purchase an iPhone 5.