Tiny carriers nab the iPhone, sell it for cheap

Virginia-based nTelos is going to become just the 5th U.S. carrier to sell Apple’s iPhone 4S device, and it will do so at prices that undercut AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon by a cool $50. nTelos will sell the 16GB variant of the iPhone 4S for $150. Prices for the 32GB and 64GB models will run customers $250 and $350 respectively.

Haven’t heard of nTelos before today? You’re likely not alone. The east-coast carrier has a total of 421,000 subscribers, with a service area that covers Virginia, West Virginia, and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. If you live in one of these locales and are hungry for an iPhone 4S, you can save yourself a $50 on the device cost by giving nTelos a look.

Where you won’t be saving, however, is on your monthly rate plans. nTelos does not offer individual plans that are much cheaper than the competition. Purchasing the iPhone 4S requires a two-year contract complete with monthly services fees of either $80 or $100 depending on number of minutes you require.

Of course, carrying the iPhone often involves significant upfront investment on behalf of carriers, and nTelos’ case is no different. CFO Stebbins Chandor expects that their decision to carry the iPhone won’t pay off for nTelos until 2014. nTelos stock fell 1.5% to $20.35 after news of the iPhone deal broke.

Besides nTelos, other smaller regional carriers also announced today that they will be selling the iPhone soon. The short list includes Alaska CommunicationsMatanuska Telephone Association and GCI  in Alaska, Appalachian Wireless in Kentucky,  and Cellcom in Wisconsin.

[via Washington Post]

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