While it originally went without saying that we would see Apple release a new iPhone every summer, the late fall release of the iPhone 4S changed things. Now as we approach the summer of 2012, the big question is whether Apple will return to its usual summer launches at WWDC, or will they stick with a fall schedule now and have fans wait until October to see the iPhone 5.
Later iPhone 5 release date better for Sprint
One would think that just about every Apple fan would want to see the iPhone 5 launch in the summer, however that isn’t the case. In addition to those who just bought an iPhone 4S less than a year ago, Sprint in particular could certainly benefit with some extra time before the iPhone 5 rolls out. And the reason for this is LTE. Here’s why.
When the New iPad ‘3’ launched, we saw Verizon and AT&T only get the device, leaving Sprint off the Apple bandwagon despite the carrier jumping onboard with Apple just last year with the iPhone. The reason for this had likely to do with its LTE network. While Verizon and AT&T were rolling their LTE network out at a fast pace, Sprint’s was still in its infancy and Apple may have found it not worthwhile to create a New iPad variant for the network. Now as the iPhone 5 reportedly nears and is expected to also come with LTE support, we may see Sprint find itself in another conundrum.
Plan A: unlimited LTE data
If the LTE iPhone 5 does launch on all three major US carriers, Sprint will find many of its users somewhat ‘handicapped’ because of little to no LTE coverage. In fact, Sprint is already trying to downplay the problem by offering an unlimited LTE data plan. Given that the biggest complaint with LTE on the New iPad 3 was just how quickly you could consume your monthly quota, being the only carrier in the US to offer an LTE buffet was an advantage. Unfortunately, with Sprint’s LTE coverage nowhere near Verizon and AT&T, many users won’t be able to take advantage of it. That is unless Apple launches the iPhone 5 in October when Sprint has more time to increase its coverage map.
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.” So if Apple does in fact wait, then we could see Sprint not only offer decent LTE coverage but also unlimited data making it a double bonanza. However if Apple doesn’t wait until the fall, Sprint would have only covered 6 cities by WWDC 2012.