Wednesday, August 24, 2011

iPhone 5 to debut in mid-October, Sprint finally getting in on the action

Apple's iPhone 4 - the iPhone 5 will be slimmer and lighter
Apple has finally come clean with a general release date for the next generation of its popular smartphone, announcing that the phone will be available in "mid-October," according to people "familiar with the matter" as cited by the WSJ.  The WSJ also let out that Sprint, which is the third largest carrier in the US but has had difficulty holding onto its customers, will be getting both the upcoming iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4 at the same time. 

Apple's policy of exclusivity with AT&T, which reigned from 2007 until early 2011, was ended when Verizon began selling the iPhone 4 in February.  However, Verizon didn't get Apple's last-gen phone, the iPhone 3GS.  As a result, despite very similar subscription numbers, Verizon sold 4.5 million total iPhones, compared with 7.2 million at AT&T.  Sprint won't have that disadvantage when they join the iPhone selling party in October.

The iPhone 5 has been hotly anticipated for months - every iPhone after the first debuted in June, and when that month came and went with no iPhone, rumors began to fly.  For everyone who has been milking another month out of their old phones while waiting to upgrade, well, you finally have a date, even if it is almost still months away.  With Sprint getting in on the fun, the vast majority of Americans have iPhone access, with just T-Mobile on the outside - though as the WSJ notes, this announcement sure doesn't hurt AT&T's chances of swallowing up T-Mobile in their proposed merger (since Sprint is now stronger), so they may get it in the end too.

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