According to Ted Carlson, CEO of TDS the parent company of U.S. Cellular, his company would only take risk of selling an iPhone if Apple makes it a more cutting edge phone. Many industry analysts believe that by this cutting edge, he meant LTE.
It was revealed by U.S. Cellular in November that a CDMA variant of the iPhone had been offered to it by Apple. But since a huge toll is taken by smartphones on operators’ data network and selling iPhone binds wireless operators to give upfront subsidies, the offer was declined.
However, certain other regional operators have decided to take up the challenge like C Spire, but these operators don’t have what U.S. Cellular has: a huge, solid, data-hungry market like Chicago.
I would suggest U.S. Cellular to just wait until Apple launches an LTE smartphone, presumably the iPhone 5.