The Wall Street Journal is quoting sources that say that the iPhone 5 will arrive at the third-ranked U.S. mobile operator in mid-October. This would represent another expansion in Apple's U.S. carrier strategy. Originally, the iPhone was only offered through GSM giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but then it arrived at CDMA leader Verizon Wireless earlier this year.
Technically, it would be relatively simple for Apple to reuse the technology that it developed for Verizon's CDMA iPhone 4 in a new model for Sprint. The report also plays into continuing rumors -- from TechCrunch and others -- that the new iPhone will be a dual-mode 3G GSM and CDMA "world" phone. (See Verizon Finally Gets the iPhone 4 .) For a device that is supposed to be launched in September or October this year, there is still a lot of speculation about what will be inside the iPhone 5. We do know for sure, however, that Long Term Evolution (LTE) will be coming to iPads and iPhones at some future date, since Apple is advertising multiple positions that require knowledge of the 4G technology. (See The iPhone's Future Is 4G.)
Why this matters An Apple iPhone on Sprint could help stop the carrier's subscriber drain. AT&T sold 3.6 million iPhones in the three months ending in June, compared to Verizon iPhone sales of 2.3 million. Sprint, meanwhile, lost valuable customers that had been paying for a monthly contract. (See US Wireless Operators' Q2 Scorecard.)
For more Read up on the rumors below.
- Here Comes the iPhone 5 (Rumors)
- Imagining the LTE iPad
- LR's Sister Company Makes iPhone 5 Predictions
- Qualcomm Not Holding Up LTE iPhone
- New Networks Hint at an iPhone 5 Timeline
- Apple Borrows From Competitors for iOS 5
- AT&T LTE Plans Too Small for LTE iPhone?
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile