Apple is set to smash the duopoly of Verizon and AT&T on the iPhone in the USA as both Sprint and T-Mobile customers may soon be able to buy the iPhone 5 from these two service carriers.
After Citadel analyst Shing Yin, Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen writes in a research note: "While we remain uncertain regarding the next-generation iPhone's specs and features, we believe the most noteworthy change could be the device's ability to run on more networks, specifically Sprint and T-Mobile in the US."
Allowing all four major US mobile operators to sell the iPhone 5 would allow Apple to expand its user base significantly and stem the rise of Android and, to a lesser extent, that of the Windows Phone platform.
Larsen says that adding the two operators may increase Apple's reach by around 30 per cent. He added, "Our belief is that if Apple is already going through the trouble to make a device that has the ability to work on both major network technologies, why not include all the necessary spectrum bands to make one device work on all carriers".
But then, assuming that the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile goes ahead, it would mean that four will become three, and T-Mobile customers in the US, like their UK counterparts, may be limited in their choice of handsets.