With fewer than one million customers, C Spire may seem like an odd iPhone carrier, but it reaches places under-served by the bigger companies
The three biggest wireless carriers in America are Verizon (106 million subscribers), AT&T (96 million), and Sprint (52 million). Each of these carriers is now selling the new iPhone 4S. T-Mobile is the fourth largest, with about 34 million.
So it might seem natural that the fourth carrier to carry the wildly popular new iPhone would be T-Mobile.
Wrong. Yesterday a company by the name of C Spire announced it will offer the phone in coming weeks. C Spire has fewer than one million customers.
The relatively unknown company is based Ridgeland, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson.
John Feland, CEO of Argus Insights, an analytics firm, explained to Ars Technica some of the reasoning behind the move. "C Spire offers Apple access to a region typically neglected by the larger carriers and provides the potential for additional growth away from the urban centers Apple already dominates."
This announcement arrives at just the right time for The Atlantic, as Alexis prepares for his trip to the under-explored tech landscape of the American Southeast. Earlier today, Richard Florida described the expansion of high-tech start-up culture to the South.
As Alexis writes, the "new reality" is that the place where innovation and growth happens can be anywhere. If the major carriers don't have good service in a certain region, that doesn't mean people there aren't willing to pay to get an iPhone. A small, regional carrier can step in and give them the Siri they demand.