A report yesterday in the Wall Street Journal highlighted a Sprint deal with Apple that put the Now Network in the hole for a whopping $20 billion dollars. That deal will bring over 30 million iPhones to Sprint over the next few years, and is rumored to land Sprint an exclusive deal to carry the iPhone 5 for the first few months. It was reported that the iPhone 5, then, would run on Sprint’s 4G/WiMax network, something that Apple fanbois have been begging for for over a year.
Some unfortunate news from industry sources at the Journal today, though, is claiming that the rumor is not true. While the iPhone 5 may still be a Sprint exclusive, “According to people familiar with the company’s plans, the hotly anticipated device won’t operate on long-term evolution or WiMAX fourth-generation networks.”
That’s something we’ve been saying since the first rumors of an LTE iPhone started floating around. Apple is known for going with tested and widely available technologies in its smartphone. The 4G/LTE/WiMax networks are still the new thing, and unavailable in many places. They are widely expected to become the dominant network in 2012, but that’s still some months away. A 4G iPhone is likely not a possibility until that time. The iPhone will still operate on AT&T’s 3G network, which they claim can reach 4G HSPA+ speeds of 21Mbps, though that claim falls short in many areas.
Of course, we’ll find out exactly what Apple has planned in a few hours at the Let’s Talk iPhone event, so tune in to our coverage and see just what Cupertino has in store for you.
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