Could the iPhone 5 Be Exclusive to Sprint? Unlikely

We’re just over 6 hours away from the launch event for the iPhone 5 and as expected, more details/rumours carry on appearing on the web. The next rumour says that Apple [AAPL] is signing a deal with Sprint so that the network gets an exclusive on the iPhone 5 for the remainder of this year. The transaction is rumoured to be worth $20 billion as they have committed to buy 30 million iPhones.

We also hear that AT&T and Verizon will get a new iPhone but that it will be the iPhone 4S which will basically be a spruced up iPhone 4 with a faster CPU and a bit more RAM.

The Sprint iPhone 5 is said to be a 4G WiMAX device and that when AT&T and Verizon eventually get the iPhone 5, it will be an LTE device. When the iPhone 5 launches globally it is rumoured to be a 4G HSPA+ device.

Personally, I doubt this will happen. Apple is working away from single carriers rather than back towards them although I’m sure 20 billion dollars could persuade them if true. My thoughts are that Apple will announce an iPhone 5 later on today that will be compatible on all networks around the globe. An iPhone 4 might be announced but will likely just be a budget version of the current iPhone 4 with less storage (perhaps 8GB) and a lower price point of about $99 on contract.

We’ll have all the details later on tonight.

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