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C Spire will become fourth U.S. iPhone 4S carrier

Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T are about to get another U.S. competitor: C Spire Wireless, the largest privately-held cellular carrier in the country, announced on Wednesday that it will begin offering the iPhone 4S “in the coming weeks.”

C Spire is a regional carrier; until last month, it did business as Cellular South. The company accepts customers primarily in the southeast, focusing on Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. Dave Miller, C Spire’s Media Relations Manager, told Macworld that he couldn’t yet comment on whether the company would also carry the iPhone 4 or 3GS, though he did say “more details will be coming out soon about all the Apple devices we will offer.” C Spire is a CDMA carrier, like Sprint and Verizon.

Like Sprint, C Spire currently offers plans that include unlimited data. Miller indicated that he couldn’t yet confirm what plans the company would offer for the iPhone 4S, but declared that C Spire offers “what we consider the best plan in the industry, the 80/40 plan.” That plan offers unlimited minutes, text, and data for $80 per month for your first line, and $40 for additional lines.

To date, the iPhone 4S is Apple’s fastest-selling iPhone ever; the company sold more than four million units in the device’s first four days of availability. During Tuesday’s fourth-quarter financial results, Apple CEO Tim Cook said twice that the company expected to set a record for iPhone sales in its next quarter, which will encompass much of the holiday buying season. In addition to pent-up demand from many customers for an upgraded iPhone model, carrier additions like Sprint and C Spire could help bolster those sales considerably.

Apple did not immediately respond to Macworld’s request for comment.


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