At a time when U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM), the fifth largest carrier in the United States, announced Friday that it would start selling the latest iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c from early next month, a new report claimed that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would significantly increase the production of the iPhone 5s while decreasing the fabrication of the iPhone 5c at the same time.
U.S. Cellular revealed in an update on its website that both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c would be supported by the cellular company on Nov. 8. After T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) became an official Apple partner earlier this year, U.S. Cellular became the largest carrier in the country to not offer the iPhone.
In 2011, U.S. Cellular turned down the iPhone saying that Apple’s “terms were unacceptable from a risk and profitability standpoint.” However, the carrier confirmed in May that it would start selling iPhones later this year.
The iPhone 5s and 5c were launched on four major U.S. carriers -- Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint and T-Mobile -- on Sept. 20, and they reportedly became among the top-selling devices for each of the four carriers last month, regardless of being on sale for only 10 days.
Meanwhile, NPD Display Search reiterated on Monday current rumors about Apple’s iPhone production, saying that Apple would increase the iPhone 5s' production by 75 percent, while the iPhone 5c’s production will be down by 35 percent.
The research firm said, citing its “latest channel checks,” there are two factors that are responsible for the iPhone 5c’s disappointing performance -- a miscalculated China launch of the handset and consumer expectation that the phone would be priced more cheaply.
According to NPD Display Search, Apple increased the iPhone 5c's price to hit a profit target while it cut its subsidies for the iPhone 5c during the first week of October, suggesting that Apple might have miscalculated the iPhone 5c's launch timing, considering the company was aiming at the Chinese market with the phone.
The report also said that although Apple never wanted to launch a product targeting the “low-cost” smartphone segment, rumors about the iPhone 5c as early as the third quarter of this year suggested that the device would be “cheap.”
According to the report, the fact that the iPhone 5c is nearly identical to the iPhone 5 -- and it is not cheap -- disappointed some consumers.
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple would cut iPhone 5c production, with Pegatron looking at a 20 percent decrease in orders, as Foxconn may cut production by roughly one third.