So the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint was so desperate to get the iPhone now that AT&T’s exclusivity deal is up, they actually bet the future of their company on it: they’ve placed an order for over $20 billion in iPhone sales over the next four years. Sprint won’t break even on the deal until 2014, and if the iPhone suddenly becomes less popular (yeah, right), the deal could sink the company.
That’s a big story. It seems almost unbelievable, in fact, that Sprint would bet the future of its company on just one device, but that’s exactly what they appear to have done.
Want to know something even more unbelievable, though? According to a follow up report… Sprint’s ballsy deal secured them exclusive rights to the iPhone 5.
I have been told that Sprint will be getting the iPhone 5 — yes the real iPhone 5, not the iPhone 4S — as an exclusive. And it will be a 4G WiMAX device. AT&T and Verizon would launch the iPhone 4S and get the iPhone 5 some time in the first quarter of next year as an LTE device. Globally, the iPhone 5 might be available as a 4G HSPA+ device.
In this scenario, the iPhone 4S Apple will introduce tomorrow will feature the following:
- A low voltage Apple A5 CPU (it won’t be the same as the iPad 2 chip, clock for clock).
- Updated front and back camera sensors. FaceTime HD in the front, 8 megapixel 1080p HD video recording in the back.
- Multiband 3G Qualcomm chipset — North American & International GSM/UMTS/HSPA bands for AT&T and Global carriers, North American CDMA & International GSM/UMTS/HSPA bands for Verizon and Sprint.
- NFC support
- Metal or “premium” plastic on the back case.
And here is what my source said about the iPhone 5 that will launch as a Sprint exclusive:
- Faster CPU.
- Larger 4-inch screen, similar to LG’s NOVA display but with a higher resolution.
- 1GB of RAM.
- Slightly larger design overall, but thinner and with a larger battery.
- 32GB of storage.
- iPhone 5 exclusive software and APIs (Assistant).
- Dedicated Assistant button, possibly integrated with the new home button, “think gestures or a two-stage button like a camera shutter key).
Look, this is just stupid, and we think BGR’s out of their gourds to seriously posit this, “impeccable source” or no. There’s no indication that the iPhone 4S will have NFC inside, for one, which they state as a given. That casts everything that follows in suspicion. We seriously doubt that Apple is going to give the third-place wireless carrier their high-end, ultra-new and futuristic iPhone 5: that’s just madness. Even if Sprint did demand an exclusive on the device, what possible negotiating position could they have to spur Apple to piss off their other carrier partners so badly. Third, as we keep on saying, there’s no supply chain evidence for the iPhone 5. None. And finally? Sprint’s own leaked documents only reference the iPhone 4, so what, did they keep this a secret even internally?
We say this is utter and complete bull. If Apple and Sprint prove us wrong, fine, we’ll eat the crow… but this is the nuttiest iPhone 5 rumor we’ve heard in a day full of them.