What if Apple entered a massive iPhone partnership with Sprint, possibly by purchasing a significant slice of it?
Sprint has a great U.S. data network and desperately needs hot devices that can bring an influx of new customers. Sprint isn’t worth much and could really use some cash.
Er, CSprint/Nextel’s network is CDMA. Apple don’t make CDMA phones. (Thankfully. Unlike Microsoft, who seem happy to limit Zune’s market to Americans, Apple’s products often launch worldwide, and those that don’t tend to show up sooner rather than later.)
I do wonder if Americans ever think about the huge technological gulf in the middle of their “cellphone” industry. It’s almost unique: I believe Japan has the same problem (but given I don’t speak Japanese, I never notice it there). In Europe, and most of the rest of the world, everyone uses the GSM family of standards; all five British 3G providers use UMTS. The iPhone’s exclusivity wasn’t down to hardware, but to deals (and those deals run out soon).
By contrast, the calls for an iPhone on Verizon (or Sprint, for that matter) won’t come to anything unless Apple concedes that the situation in the US is so dire that they have to support a whole different chipset just for that market. I suppose they’re hoping they can wait until CDMA dies and everyone switches to LTE (now Qualcomm have finally stopped trying to go it alone).
Still, it seems odd to me that such a big issue isn’t mentioned more. Perhaps I’m more of a technological determinist than anyone else.