The consolidation of the US mobile phone market has accelerated as AT&T confirmed the acquisition earlier this week of T-Mobile in a deal that's worth $39 billion and which will not only add 34 million more users to the network but also eliminate one big competitor.
The purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T also highlighted the fact that T-Mobile was suffering from heavy customer churn with its users leaving the mobile phone operator for AT&T and then Verizon Wireless when the latter introduced its own iPhone 4.
Sprint will be suffering the same fate when the iPhone 5 is released in June and although it does have some interesting (and intriguing) phones like the HTC Evo 3D, the LG Rumor Touch or that cool dual screen Kyocera smartphone, none of them will be able to rival the iPhone 5.
Fatally for Sprint, the fact that it is pushing and investing in WiMax may prove to be fatal as Apple hasn't yet committed to supporting WiMax-based handsets which means that Sprint won't be able to buy and offer iPhone 5 from the grey-market just like T-Mobile did in the UK a few years ago.
Where does that leave US customers? Sprint will have a very hard time competing against two behemoths that have a combined user base of nearly 200 million users; it only has 50 million customers and despite many past rumours, we don't expect Apple to answer Sprint's prayer with an iPhone.