According to sources Apple is currently in the latter stages of testing a Sprint iPhone, possibly the rumoured iPhone 4S rather than the iPhone 5, 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) reports.
Reports that AT&T could take over T-Mobile are very prevalent in the media right now, and for this reason many people have overlooked the possibility that Sprint may be carrying the iPhone soon.
However, there have been some indications that Sprint will become one of Apple’s iPhone US carriers in the near future. Apple implied it could be signing a deal with Sprint a few months ago when it advertised for a cellular engineering position in Kansas City, the carrier is based in that same city, so rather unsurprisingly this got tongues wagging.
The sources say a 4G version of the iPhone on Sprint is being looked at, though it is not featured on the current model in testing. If the iOS smartphones are incompatible with 4G on Sprint’s network, it may mean that other carriers won’t support the iPhone 4G either.
Apple simply cannot discriminate against some of its carriers and offer 4G compatible smartphones just to a select group of carriers, or only to Sprint.
The tech giant could however decide to release a slightly improved iPhone 4 model especially designed for Sprint this autumn and then release its fifth-generation iPhone at the beginning of 2012. The iPhone 5 could very well be a 4G compatible iOS smartphone though.