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.
The landlocked local market’s size is a challenge for Cincinnati Bell, which must pay other carriers when local customers roam outside its service area, and limits its options. Cincinnati Bell, which does offer a 4G network, continues to evaluate whether upgrading to LTE network speeds that optimize the newest smartphones’ performance is worth the investment.
Device pricing does appear to be higher according to leaked training material sent into MacRumors. The materials shows the iPhone 5 will be priced at $299.99 after a $100 Mail in rebate with a 2 year contract. Typically the iPhone 5 is only $199 with no mail in rebate, and some retailers even offer it for cheaper.
For launch weekend on August 17-18, Cincinnati Bell will be offering a trade in promotion that can knock the iPhone down to $199 after a $100 MIR -- although details are unclear as to which devices qualify for the trade in promotion
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