Unlike past years, the release date for the next-generation iPhone 5 is open to vast speculation. While Apple has always been tight-lipped when it came to their product updates, there was one thing you could bet on – the new iPhone would always be unveiled in the summer.
October iPhone 5 release date is just what Sprint needs to build LTE network coverage
Things changed last year when the iPhone 4S surprised us by releasing in the fall only. This brought up many rumors trying to explain the reason behind this. Word on the street was that it had to do with delays in production, and hence Apple would likely return to its summer release date when it came to the iPhone 5 in 2012.
While that would be great, it wouldn’t just be those who just purchased an iPhone 4S that wouldn’t want to see an iPhone 5 less than a year later. It would also be Sprint. Here’s why.
With the New iPad ‘3’ launching with 4G LTE compatibility, we saw Apple release an AT&T and Verizon variant, effectively leaving out Sprint who had come onboard the Apple train just last year with the iPhone. Given that Sprint’s LTE network is still in its infancy, an LTE iPad wouldn’t be handicapped on the network. With the iPhone 5 coming next, Apple is expected to adopt LTE in the smartphone as well, and with it give AT&T and Verizon another advantage over Sprint.
Plan A: Unlimited LTE data option
Sprint has already employed some sort of counter-measure for it. They are the only carrier in the US providing an unlimited LTE data plan. Given the majority of complaints with LTE data plans when it came to the New iPad 3 was just how quickly you would consume it, an unlimited LTE data option is a big plus. Unfortunately, with Sprint’s LTE coverage nowhere near Verizon and AT&T, many users won’t be able to take advantage of it. Unless of course Apple launches the iPhone 5 in October when Sprint has more time to expand.
A Dow Jones report quoted Sprint’s chief financial officer Joe Euteneuer as saying that, “If you make the assumption that they launch a device at a similar time that they did last year, you’re basically done with the major markets.” This was after confirming that by the middle of the year, Sprint would have only enveloped six cities.