iPhone 5 Exclusive on Sprint Only?


Jun 13, 2008
I love the simultaneous voice and data too much.
Good point. I do take advantage of this, though I really don't spend much time using my phone as an actual phone. Hence, I've had the minimum minutes plan (450/month) since 2008 yet I have 3500 rollover minutes saved up :D I'm not sure that's compelling-enough to keep me on AT&T.

It would be a tough decision, and of course an unlikely hypothetical at this point, but I'd definitely consider it.


Jun 16, 2008
One Horse Town, New Jersey
9to5Mac has a story from WSJ and they aren't saying the deal is exclusive. They are only saying that Sprint paid a lot of $ and ordered a lot of iPhones. They mention that BGR had a different take on it and AT&T and Verizon had to wait until early 2012. WSJ may have it more accurate. I won't let this piss me off just yet....until tomorrow and they say it is exclusive to Sprint, which, I don't think will happen.


WSJ: Sprint bets the farm, ponies up $20 billion to get the iPhone

Christian Zibreg
Discussion (25)

October 3, 2011 at 11:45 am
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint, the third largest wireless operator in the US, is figuratively “betting the company” on the iPhone, having committed to buy 30.5 million iPhones – at a cost that could only be described as sureal. Citing the obligatory “people familiar with the matter”, the Journal wrote that Dan Hesse, the CEO, told the board in August that Sprint “would likely lose money on the deal until 2014″. He also convinced the board that the lack of the iPhone was “the No. 1 reason customers leave or switch”. The board then signed off on the so-called “Sony” project, even though they were aware of a “staggering” hit to Sprint’s operating income, because they realized Sprint couldn’t compete otherwise:
Mr. Hesse told the board the carrier would have to agree to purchase at least 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years—a commitment of $20 billion at current rates—whether or not it could find people to buy them, according to people familiar with the matter. In order to keep the price people pay for the phone low and competitive with rivals, Sprint would be subsidizing the cost of each phone to the tune of about $500, which would take a long time to recoup even at the high monthly fees iPhone users pay.
Directors debated what they had just heard. Some worried the payoff would be too long in coming. One member questioned whether the multiyear deal might outlast the iPhone’s popularity. To sell that many iPhones, Sprint would have to double its rolls of contract customers, convert all of them to the Apple device or a combination of the two.
Also surreal to say the least: BGR has heard that Sprint will actually get the rumored iPhone 5, which is said to be a 4G WiMax device. The story has it that Verizon Wireless and AT&T get to wait out until the first quarter of 2012 before launching a 4G LTE version of iPhone 5 on their respective networks. This could also explain why Verizon sided with Samsung in Apple litigation (and AT&T smartly kept their mouths shut).
Whichever way you look at it, the Sprint iPhone deal is HUGE. Apple has just secured additional shipments of up to eight million iPhones annually for the next four years. It’s reasonable that Sprint would sell that many iPhones a year and the deal would boost Apple’s annual revenues by five billion dollars. It also sends out a clear message to carriers that don’t yet carry the iPhone: Either you pay through the nose and get the phone that can turn your fortunes around or risk getting left behind.

There is probably not a single phone vendor bar Apple anywhere in the world capable of talking any carrier into pre-paying such a staggering amount of money for the privilege of carrying a smartphone. That is, unless the phone in question happens to be the iconic product everybody’s still lusting after. The 30.5 million iPhones worth $20 billion equal to an average selling price of $655, which is in line with what other carriers are reportedly getting as well. Now, you would have thought that committing to such a substantial bulk purchase would come with some concessions or rebates, but this is Apple and their CEO is known as a tough negotiator (yes, we’re talking about Tim Cook).


Jun 16, 2008
One Horse Town, New Jersey
No way this one is true.
I know right?! Gotta be some last minute yank going on with this one. Just to piss people off and or get people thinking about defecting. I did it once with Verizon, I won't do it to AT&T.

If this is true (HA! Doubt it) and AT&T will get it in the 1st quarter of 2012, I will just wait. My hubby on the other hand needs a new phone now and he'll get the 4S but I don't think he'll be happy with the situation at all. if it comes to this.


Jun 21, 2007
I don't get people who will switch to Android over this. You waited an additional 4 months to upgrade what is waiting a few more? I have Sprint currently but was going to make the switch because my wife has Verizon and we were going to get on a family plan. It's not like the rumor is saying that Verizon and AT&T wouldn't get the iPhone 5.


Nov 19, 2009
South Florida.
lmao! well yeah i'm reading saying it's not exclusive as well now in the article.. let's hope that's not true. however I WILL take that iPhone design. That is pretty sexy!
I'll take the iPhone 5 myself. Can't wait to see what they have to say about the phone. Mostly I wanna listen to is the pricing and 4G status.


Sep 7, 2010
$20B over 4 years for 30.5M units is the normal retail number. It's a PR flash so inflating the facts is on the table. "Betting the company", stinks of "read me, read me". Really though, they'd not have contract details on discounting.

Where does it say Sprint is prepaying. I'm guessing annual reconciliations if they fall short.

8M units on Sprint doesn't mean 8M additional sales for Apple. I'd say over half would be from poaching of Apple consumers from other carriers via price and WiMAX. I'm sure this would be Apple's argument in forcing Sprint to make the venture worthwhile. On Apple's side they'd also have to make supply side commits for a WiM build that's useless elsewhere so the risk had to be shared/shifted.

A non-WiMAX iPhone on Sprint would be crippled vs their Android offering.

Sprint has to do something like this to counter the LTE evolution of GSM and that the maturity of Android means they can't strangle something like the EVO which was a superphone in it's day.

Would be interesting to see to what extent a WiM radio hits on the iP5's battery performance.

Same goes for a world phone iP5. Anyone with cross radio blackberry experience can attest to the stark impact that CDMA has on battery and thickness of the form.

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