And then there were three... Carriers, that is.
Citing “people familiar with the matter”, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the iPhone 5 will come out in mid-October and will be carried by Sprint Nextel Corp. If true, Sprint would join top two U.S. cellular providers, AT&T and Verizon, as carriers of Apple’s iconic smartphone.
Assuming AT&T’s intended acquisition of number four carrier T-Mobile goes through, a Sprint deal means that the next model iPhone will be available to the vast majority of U.S. consumers. Sprint has more than 52 million subscribers, while Verizon and AT&T have 106 million and 99 million subscribers respectively.
This news comes on the heels of rumors that the iPhone 5 will come equipped with both CDMA and GSM technology. Sprint and Verizon operate via CDMA technology while AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM.
While the current report anticipates Apple will release the iPhone in October - later than expected - it is now conventional wisdom that the company will come out with an iPhone 5 and perhaps a cheaper alternative come this fall in anticipation of the holiday season. The company is rumored to be having a major announcement in mid-September.
Stay tuned to Appolicious for continued news, analysis and good old fashion rumor alerts on this matter in the days and weeks ahead.
Two additional industry points to think about to kill the time until we know more:
- The availability of the iPhone 5 (and also reportedly iPhone 4s) on the Sprint network may once and for all relieve AT&T of an over-burdened network. The democratization of the iPhone on multiple carriers could be a boon for all of us.
- Now that the iPhone is available to virtually every U.S. consumer regardless of carrier affiliation, what does this mean for the future of Android and its marriage of sorts to Motorola Mobility? After last week’s announcement of Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility, it was speculated that rival manufacturers of Android devices may turn elsewhere (to Windows Phone 7, perhaps)?
Either way, Android and iPhones are now playing on an equal playing field - at least from a carrier perspective. Will Android continue to grow at such a massive clip, or will the iPhone once and for all become the ruler of all things smartphone?