Sprint Desperate For iPhone 5, Makes Huge Deal With Apple

Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the US, has gone out on a limb to get the iPhone and made a significant deal with Apple, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Dan Hesse, Sprint Chief Executive, explained that an agreement made with Apple to buy upfront 30.5 million iPhones for $20 billion, was initially met with resistance by the board of directors. Sprint could lose money until 2014 but it could also turn the tables in its favour with the addition of Apple's new flagship handset in its offering.

[ed: You can read our extensive coverage of the iPhone 5 from the very beginning here. Follow Us Live From 18:00 UK time (10am local time) for the iPhone 5 event here.]

Currently Sprint holds the third position on the wireless carrier market, after big rivals AT&T and Verizon. AT&T has been, until early this year, the only carrier offering Apple's iPhone to its subscribers. Then, in January, Verizon came along for the ride, signing a partnership with Apple for the iPhone 4, leaving Sprint in a tricky situation.

According to Hesse, Sprint's bold move was the only way to stop subscribers migrating to their rivals' networks in search of Apple's new iPhone. Figures show that AT&T and Verizon were able to sell nearly 12 million iPhones in the first quarter of this year, with sales are on a rising trend.

Sprint officials are confident that the company, that currently has 52 million subscribers, will be able to improve its place in US carrier hierarchy after this huge deal with Apple. Would you choose Sprint if they add the iPhone 5 to their portfolio?