Even though Steve Jobs' imminent departure from Apple marks the end of a storied career of the man who was inarguably the face of the company, the ever-busy rumor mill continues to churn. The latest announcement comes from the Wall Street Journal, who are reporting that wireless provider Sprint will be receiving the iPhone 5, according to people close to the company's inner workings. The news fills a huge hole in Sprint's lineup, finally bringing the quintessential smartphone to the nation's third-largest cell phone company.
The timing of the news indicates that Sprint won't be seeing the device later than was expected, and Apple won't be able to use its release to boost their sales in the fiscal fourth quarter which ends in September. General consensus had been that the device would come out sometime next month, though this announcement seems to throw a monkey wrench in that particular speculation.
For a bit of context, while Sprint has about 50 million subscribers, AT&T has about 100 million, while Verizon has about 106 million.
Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T will be selling the phone around mid-October. Nonetheless, this is welcome news for Sprint, who are plugging a major market gap as the largest cell phone company who had yet to carry the iPhone. They will also provide the current model of the phone for those not willing to shell out quite as much cash for the newest model, though Wirefly coupon codes can help alleviate those costs a bit.
The cellphone business is increasingly driven by which carriers are able to provide the newest and most sophisticated smartphones, one aspect on which Apple has consistently been on the cutting edge. The company originally held an exclusivity deal with AT&T, but they've shifted their strategy in recent years, which has allowed more customers to enjoy their product than ever before.
Not to be left out of this particular news cycle, it's also been rumored that T-Mobile hopefully receive their own iteration of the phone. It won't be quite the powerhouse that AT&T and Verizon will see, with slower data speeds, but this still comes as welcome news to T-Mobile subscribers looking to get in on the action.
As to the specifics of the device, little has actually been revealed by Apple, but that hasn't stopped rampant speculation on what it could have. It's heavily rumored that the device will be a drastic improvement on the iPhone 4. Some are saying it will feature an end-to-end screen. Concept photos show a phone about the width of two playing cards stacked on top of one another. A second video fueled rumors that it would feature the ability to project a keyboard out onto the table, effectively allowing users to type as though they were on a regular computer.
Apple is reportedly already in Hollywood, shooting commercials for the iPhone 5. The company is working with TBWA Chiat\Day, the same production house that brought them the iconic "1984" ad that introduced the first Macintosh computer way back in the day. Given Apple's reputation for beginning massive ad campaigns to coincide with their product announcements, it's no surprise that they've begun work on commercials. The news adds fuel to speculation that they may be putting the phone out at the beginning of October, which will understandably be welcome news to many.
Of course, all of this sits in the shadow of Steve Jobs' sudden but understandable resignation as CEO. Though his influence remains, it's hard to deny that the charismatic leader brought a certain panache to the company. It would be unsurprising to see an official announcement on the phone's release any day, now, as Apple looks to bring some good news to the table.
Some are saying that there may soon be the announcement of a less expensive iteration of the iPhone 4 that will coincide with the iPhone 5's release date. Although their products are undeniably attractive prospects, many people have a hard time coming to terms with their cost, especially when they are first release. Putting out a cheaper version of their flagship product would be welcome news to many and would be sure to further improve sales across the board.
Google's proprietary Android system has steadily grown over the past couple of years, blossoming into a viable alternative for people who'd like something a bit different from the iPhone. This can only be a good thing for consumers, as it forces innovation and pressures companies into pushing out improvements on a faster timescale. This fact may be one of the biggest reasons why the iPhone 5 is said to be such an upgrade from its current model.
Finding a cell phone provider is ultimately a matter of what works best in your given region. Although Verizon and AT&T may be the big dogs in the arena, many parts of the country have better service from other providers which has led to the dilemma of whether to opt for slightly worse reception on the newest phone or better signals on perhaps an outdated phone. As more companies add the iPhone to their rosters, this issue becomes less and less prevalent, much to the delight of customers across the country.
If you're due for an upgrade to your cell plan, it may be a good idea to wait a few weeks and see what Apple officially announces. It's always an event when they bring news, and given what's happened in the past couple of days, it should be a large one when they finally take the stage.
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