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Apple iPhone 5 and a Christmas Surprise




I’m in a rhyming kind of mood today. If you haven’t heard, a company named Apple launched a new phone this afternoon. It was a pretty big deal. iPhone 5 is the device name.

A story about the Apple iPhone on the front page of TeamUSCellular blog you ask? Uncharted territories, I know. I’m feeling a little courageous.

First, the continuous leaks pretty much nailed it on the head. Not much was a surprise at this afternoons unveiling. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, stated at D10 conference that “we’re [Apple] is going to double down on secrecy on products.” Obviously he meant after the iPhone 5 was revealed.

Let’s get to the specs for those technical geeks!


  • Glass and Aluminum outer body in Black/Slate or White/Silver.
  • 7.6mm thick; a full 18% thinner than the iPhone 4s.
  • 112 grams; 20% lighter than the Galaxy S III.
  • 4” Retina Display – width is still the same, but the phone is a tad taller to accomplish this.
  • Retina Display at 1136x640, this translates into 326ppi
  • Longer screen = additional 5th row of apps
  • The ratio puts the display as close to 16:9 when held horizontally


  • A6 processor; 22 percent smaller than the dual core A5
  • 1GB RAM
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LTE (we’ll have more on this in a moment)
  • nanoSIM card (yes, Apple is redefining the SIM card)
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage options

Other features:

  • Primary Camera: 8 megapixel sensor with a 5 element lens and f/2.4 aperture for you camera nerds!

o Panoramic Shooting (effectively providing a 28 megapixel photo)

o 40% increase in shutter speed

o 1080p video recording
  • Secondary Camera: 1.2 megapixel at 30fps (720p and hi res Facetime chats)
  • Facetime over cellular
  • Microphone upgrade which should improve voice quality on networks that support it.
  • New dock connector called…wait for it….Lightning!! (Apple will be charging $29 for an adapter for devices using the older connection….Apple sure does know how to suck every last cent out of their customers.)
  • 8 hours talk time on 4G (LTE); 10 hours using WiFi

What the phone didn’t have:

  • NFC (Apple says it’s not clear that this will be the standard going forward. AKA we can add this to the next iteration)

Phil Schiller, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing said, “iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer devise that we’ve created. We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think the customers are going to love it.” Android users just puked (and I know there are a lot of you in the forums). Can't we all just get along?

I’d like to touch on the LTE a bit. Back in November, 2011, US Cellular turned down the Apple iPhone 4s. At the time it did not make economical sense to the company. Later, in December, it was learned that the iPhone would be considered if it had ”cutting edge” technology (interpret as LTE). Today, we have the iPhone 5, which will offer LTE on various bands. I was curious to see if any of those bands are what USCC currently utilizes, 700/850/1700/1900MHz. Here is what I found:

iPhone 5 CDMA Model

  • 2100MHz
  • 1800MHz
  • 850MHz
  • 700cMHz
  • 1900MHz

I believe that the 700MHz that USCC utilizes is of the A variety, but 850MHz matches up. Does it prove anything? No. Does it put a little hope out there? Absolutely.

So what does Christmas have to do with this? A lot actually. An anonymous little birdie tipped TUSCC with some tantalizing information. Remember, it isn’t official till USCC says so.

  • Expect a launch of the iPhone 5 on USCC!!
  • When: expect it around the holidays (Santa will be busy)

The next details are sketchy and, from a business perspective, would alienate a whole lot of customers.

  • Initial launch in 4G areas only with Iowa being first as this is where most of the testing occurs.

Honestly, I can’t see that last tidbit happening. Customers in areas where 4G is not expected soon (Chicago I’m talking to you) would be outraged! USCC would benefit from launching in 3G only areas as well.

Thanks Anonymous for that information, I’m sure there are a few happy USCC customers out there that have been flooding USCC’s facebook page with nonstop “When is the iPhone coming to USCC?” comments.


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Makes sense somewhat. I agree with the Iowa thing being sketchy, it doesn't make sense from any perspective to restrict a phone, especially something as majorly attractive to customers as the iPhone, based on area.

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Yeah that would be great if they can get it, and they should definitely not leave it out of 3G markets. I know that would put more pressure on them to get 4G rolled out, esp in their 'hometown'. I'm not a fan of Apple, but I understand how important it is to the business since the iPhone does have a very large fan base, and is very popular in enterprise environments.

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darn. I was hoping that the iPhone would never come to USCC.

I can understand that. Look at Sprint's network after getting it. It definitely brings some major cons but do the benefits outweigh the cons in USCC's eyes? Who knows. From the info we're getting... it must but nothing OFFICIAL yet.

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Makes zero business sense at all for uscc to get the iPhone, would effectively bankrupt the company, with strained network, flooded call centers full of assholes with no business even touching an iPhone and the loss they would take on every single one sold... That and the higher ups said it would never happen

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Hmmm was told only the Samsung chip was compatible with USCC frequencies. That the only other chip that would do is the Qualcomm 7 band chip. Which isn't due out till errr Christmas... Oh well, there goes my flaky 3G...... They really can't expect to limit it to a few area's? I mean, just call up a friend in Rockford, have him use is upgrade to get the iPhone, they use your upgrade to get what he wants. If they try, I can imagine a LOT of USCC branded iPhone's showing up on eBay..

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Either way, get it or dont... I'm still not going to use the iPhone.


1. Weak screen, glass breaks/scratches too easily.

2. Screen is still smaller than most old androids.

3. I have LTE on my S3 - no leg up there. (also in Iowa, where it is speculated to launch initially)


The iPhone is restrictive (by that I mean the look and feel is ONE way, and that isn't YOUR way, like android) and it's a "1-way street". Don't like it? Tough, you're stuck with it once you leave the store with it, forget about your 15 day return policy as it doesn't apply to the iPhone. Plus, it costs more than most androids that rock better technology, custom options, and well lets face it, android is just better...

Am I excited to see USC get it? Absolutely! The people on carriers that have lacking coverage now have the option to join USC and get better coverage (here in Iowa anyway) also, they can remain loyal to their beloved iPhone. Resulting in the potential for a HUGE jump in customers this winter, and by all means, I'm all for USC getting bigger.

USC: 1 Big 4: 0

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According to this article, it will not support U.S. Cellular LTE.

"Apple's spec page for the iPhone 5 has been posted, revealing that the phone will come in three different radio configurations, each offered in three different storage capacities - 16, 32, and 64 GB - for a total of nine variants. One model will be exclusive to AT&T, supporting 4G LTE in their 700 and 1700 bands. The model for Verizon and Sprint will support CDMA and both carriers' 4G LTE bands, plus three other LTE bands used overseas. The CDMA model will also support EVDO Rev. B. A third model will support European and Asian LTE bands. This global version is similar to the Sprint/Verizon version, but with US-specific modes disabled. All three versions will support quad-band GSM and quad-band WCDMA/HSPA+ (850/900/1900/2100). None of the versions will support T-Mobile's USA's HSPA+ network in the 1700 (AWS) band. Nor will any version support band 12, the lower-700 MHz band used by regional carriers such as U.S. Cellular for 4G LTE service."


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If USCC doesn't get screwed over by Apple's huge prices for the iPhone, this is a great thing. More people on USCC == More cash, which should be a benefit.

That being said, I'm still really glad I've got my GS3, because I've used an iPhone 4 enough to know that Android is WAY better for me.

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The anonymous sources have been pretty solid with the tips. Obviously, take it for what it's worth until USCC actually comes out and confirms. The LTE issue I find interesting. Good points made about Qualcomm being the only company to create chips that work with the quadband LTE USCC uses. How Apple pulls it off if USCC gets the iPhone and it is able to work on USCCs LTE will be a story Samsung is smelling blood and looking for any reason to go after some LTE patents. I find it ironic that the same companies that do business together also sue each other.

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I hope the iPhone comes to U.S. Cellular in order for the company to remain competitive. Seven consecutive quarters of customer loss are not good. However, as somewhat stated above, the three separate iPhone 5 models ( do not support U.S. Cellular's lower block A LTE network. Apple would have to make a 4th model that supports their frequency. A U.S. Cellular compatible iPhone would need to support LTE band 12 in order to be compatible. LTE band 17 (created by AT&T) is a subset of LTE band 12. Band 12 includes lower block bands A, B, and C. Band 17 just includes lower block bands B and C. About half of U.S. Cellular 700mhz LTE frequency licenses are lower block A and the other are lower block B (http://www.cellularm...0_auction.shtml).

So, the reason for the select market rumor might be because U.S. Cellular would only be able to offer an LTE iPhone in their lower block band B markets.

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I am sure apple will be releasing a model compatable with Band class 12. Almost all the carriers who apple recently signed iphone agreements with for the 4S use band class 12 and I doubt all those small carriers would sign an agreement if they knew their 4g wouldn't be supported. Further USCC also is using either 1900 or 1700 mhz for their 4g. Uscc 4g devices all have lower 700, 850 1700 and 1900 mhz radios. Though deployments so far are only on 700 and either 1700 or 1900 i can't remember which.

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Wait...Wait... Had a thought!

What if USC releases the iPhone 5 this winter, but it's a 3G only version!?

They've done it before with several phones. Just because it HAS LTE on some carriers doesn't mean it has to have LTE on USC.

-Note- it also says no sub-700mhz cdma (used for calls, not LTE) - so maybe not?

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first off I will admit I have never been an Apple fan and have always had a certain dislike of Steve Jobs an his business practices going way back to the original PC days...

With this said, I will say I'm not so concerned if you want an Iphone5 or not, honestly I just don't understand the fasination with Apple products, but to each their own.

What does concern me is what happens to every carrier that agrees to carry the Iphone and the price every customer on these networks have to pay, in service and cost, no matter which device they personally choose to use!

Do a little reseach, look at ATT, Verizon, and Sprint to see what has happened to their actual network performance, changes in plans, and the cost to the end user!

In every case Iphone adoption has had a very negitive effect on each carrier! ATTs network was in shables and their customer costs went through the roof, Verison crashes regularly and again the consumer pays more, and Let's not even talk about Sprint who is on the edge of a cliff, looking down! How did that Earnings call go? The Iphone will cost us millions anually and will not show profit till 2017? ???

Again, I really don't care if you want an Iphone, but I am unwilling to subsidize your use of it on USCC with high prices, poor network performance, and crappy plans!

I would much prefer you just go elsewhere to use it!

How does that quote go? "those who pay no attention to history are destine to relive it"

Be careful what you wish for, a bad decision with this and US Cellular could very easily cease to exist!


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Jokout you could easily argue USCC has already made changes over the last year to finance the iphone. A lot of the recent changes are the same changes other carriers made in response to the iphone.

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Also be careful what you wish for. Everyone here is so quick to say "well if you want the iphone go somewhere else...we're too good for that here, we don't need you"

Well for the last several quarters, the customers have been doing just that. Leaving. If too many leave, well, USCC will have financial issues without having the iphone.

Just keep that in mind.

*Like jokout, I personally don't care if you use or want an iphone. My mom uses one, and it's the perfect phone for her. It's the perfect phone for many people. Some people here need to get off their high horses, and quit acting like the iphone people that they despise. Hating apple or the iphone doesn't make you more cool or geekier. And no, I don't care for most of Apple's business practices. I don't care for the arrogance that goes hand in hand with a lot of iphone users. But there's just as many android users that are just as arrogant, if not more arrogant. It's a phone, nothing more, nothing less; a tool to help you get more done throughout the day. You are not your phone.

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Let's face it, there's not a lot USCC can do to right this sinking ship. w/o the cursed iphone they're losing customers. with it there'd be an initial gain then a sharp decline as people went elsewhere because of our tiny little networks inability to handle the excess traffic. go look at sprints coverage map NOW i dare you about 50-75% of their coverage is roming now they have had to cut thier network to the size of ours due to poor decisions (clearwire, iphone... others escape me) to each his own i have friends that use the fruit phone because business dictates that and others that it just simly fits. the phone itself is ok-ish the company and the montra behind it are garbage headed theiving poo poo heads. USCC just needs to hurry up and get welcomed to 2009 they have clearly left the "farmers rural family phone company" stance to try to emulate every other phone company, now they need to catch up tho the times as such.

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