Apple has all but confirmed it will be announcing the iPhone 5 on September 12, and if recent rumors are correct, it’ll start shipping around a week and a half later. But according to a leaked training manual produced by Sprint, Apple’s next-generation iPhone may not be making its debut until at least October 15, or it’ll be launching with different carriers at different times in the U.S.
That’s if this training document actually means anything. And we don’t think it does.
Although its training begins today, October 15 is the date on which Sprint will be offering in-store support for the iPhone, according to the document, which was obtained by iSource. It suggests that the carrier won’t be getting the device until at least this date, and that it’s possible the iPhone 5 will not launch across U.S. carriers simultaneously — let alone across international markets simultaneously.
But there are plenty of caveats to this.
First, Engadget followed up this report after speaking to its own sources, and stated that “Sprint’s internal calendar is in flux,” and that the carrier “may not have concrete plans until after Apple’s executives leave the event stage next week.” It’s possible, then, that this date is nothing more than a guide, and that Sprint will move it if necessary when it gets the iPhone 5’s release date.
There’s also a possibility that no one will get the iPhone 5 until mid-October. Apple has been reducing the delay between product unveilings and product launches over the years, but it could be that component supply and production rates for the iPhone 5 mean we’ll have to wait a little longer for it. A month does seem pretty excessive, though. We’ve been waiting over two years already.
The other thing we should note is that this document makes no mention of the “iPhone 5,” or the “new iPhone,” or anything of the sort. And so, this could simply be some “refresher” training, or an effort to improve the iPhone support Sprint already has in place in its stores. After all, the document quite clearly states “dealers will offer more robust support for Sprint iPhone users.”
If you are a Sprint customer, then, and you want you iPhone 5 on release date, don’t just ship just yet. We think this is a lot of fuss over nothing.