The stranglehold AT&T and Verizon have on the iPhone distribution in the US may come to an end soon, says Citadel Securities analyst Shing Yin, as he hints that Sprint-Nextel may become the next mobile phone carrier to get the iPhone, presumably the fifth generation.
As reported by Tiernan Ray from Barrons, the fact that Sprint will become the only national network operator with an unlimited data plan in the US, as Verizon Wireless moves to usage-based pricing, could be very attractive for Apple as it plans to introduce the data hungry iCloud cloud-based services soon.
Because Apple is in the driving seat, Yin reckons that both iPhone distributors will not try and delay the introduction of an iPhone 5 on Sprint, something that might happen before Christmas in order to benefit from the end of year sales surge that starts with the back-to-school period.
Yin writes that a Sprint iPhone “could offer an attractive proposition for more price-conscious users (a demographic that we think is increasingly important to Apple following the rise of Android), and could be a relatively stronger seller than the Verizon iPhone.”
Apple needs to start looking around to maximise its availability as customers relentlessly upgrade their phones to new ones which means that alliances with other smaller carriers is not to be excluded.