Sprint CEO 'Doesn't Know' Timing of 4G iPhone
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s CEO Dan Hesse says that he doesn't know when the next iPhone will arrive and whether it will have 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology onboard.
The Sprint boss was questioned by a UBS Investment Bank analyst about the timing of a new Apple phone on the carrier's earnings call Wednesday morning. It has been widely rumored that the next iPhone could have the faster wireless data transfer technology onboard and arrive by late summer or fall.
"We don't know when the next iPhone is coming out and what it will have in it -- like you, we've made some assumptions -- but we don't know," Hesse said in response to questions.
The timing of the LTE iPhone matters to Sprint-watchers because it has a smaller LTE footprint planned this year than Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). Six cities should go live by mid-year with 100 to 120 million people covered by the end of 2012.
Analysts worry that Sprint could lose its 3-million-plus-sold momentum with the iPhone if a new LTE version appears to favor rival networks. Hesse pointed out that the 3G iPhones so far have been "going head-to-head" with 4G devices and still shifting massive units.
"We expect that we'll be successful at selling the next version of the iPhone," he reassured listeners on the earnings call.
Separately, Apple has just announced its Worldwide Developers Conference will be held on June 11 in San Francisco. The company often uses the show as a platform to announce new products.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile