US Cellular to Carry Apple Products This Year

US Cellular announced Friday that the carrier will offer coverage of Apple devices on its network later this year.

“We continued to expand our 4G LTE network and encourage customers to migrate, which has helped us further increase smartphone penetration and shift more customers to 4G LTE,” U.S. Cellular CEO Mary Dillon said today in reference to the network’s first quarter growth.

“We have a number of strategies in progress to increase loyalty and attract more customers, including our announcement today that we will begin offering Apple products later this year,” Dillon added.

While the announcement didn’t officially reference the iPhone and iPad, it is widely expected that the deal between Apple and US Cellular will provide for coverage of these devices.

“We’re supporting this growth by bringing 4G LTE to 87 percent of our customers in 2013, and increasing our network capacity,” Dillon said today in a written statement. “In our core markets, 4G LTE smartphones were 76 percent of smartphones sold in the quarter, while smartphones overall were 62 percent of devices sold. We recently launched the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S4, and we have more devices to come throughout the year.”