Sprint-Specific iPad Ready for Launch as Soon as Next Month?

Yesterday, a report surfaced claiming that Sprint sales reps are being trained for an iPhone 4 launch next month. The report also included mention of a "4G" iPad in development for the carrier, but the overall report was seen as questionable given that it also claimed that Sprint will not receive the iPhone 5 until 2012, a claim that directly contradicts other recent mainstream media reports.

ipad sprint
But the claim of a Sprint-specific iPad has taken on more weight today with a report from 9to5Mac claiming that such a device is indeed ready for launch.

Apple and Sprint have completed work on a version of the iPad for Sprint’s data network. This Sprint compatible iPad appears to be ready for public consumption and will join the family of GSM (AT&T) and Verizon capable Apple tablets before the holidays. With Apple soon launching a Sprint version of the iPhone – which we independently confirmed in June – we suspect that the Sprint iPad will come alongside or soon after that release.

The primary question regarding the Sprint iPad is just what network technology it will support. Apple and Sprint could theoretically simply offer the existing CDMA iPad 2 for use on Sprint's network, so it seems that Apple and Sprint may have some other plans for the device. Sprint operates a 4G network based on WiMAX technology, and so speculation naturally turns to that possibility as an enticing option.

A Sprint-specific iPad 2 would increase Apple's slate of iPad offerings to an overwhelming 24 different models once all color, capacity, and carrier options are accounted for. Just last week the company simplified the layout of its iPad model selection page in its online store, and it would be a relatively clean addition to offer Sprint as a third carrier option within that new layout.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

skellener Avatar
120 months ago

So wait, does America not have unlocked iPads? :confused:

Unlocked for what? The carriers are almost all incompatible. It's not like Europe where your device will work with any of the carriers. Better off with a WiFi iPad and use your phone as a WiFi hotspot. That way if you decide to jump carriers, your iPad isn't locked in. With real 4G surfacing, do you really want to lock into a 3G device and network for another two years?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iCrizzo Avatar
120 months ago
Sprint Unlimited data for the iPad.. bye bye ATT.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applesith Avatar
120 months ago
I'm sure iPad 3 will be a world device that will be compatible with all carriers. There's gotta be enough space in an iPad to fit the antenna structure for this, after seeing earlier information about how an iPhone could hold such a versatile internal structure.

It would be so much easier to choose an iPad if it could be used with any major carrier. Now, if only I could change the color as i like too! :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applesith Avatar
120 months ago
27 SKUs!! That must be a nightmare for retailers to order/stock!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ddarko Avatar
120 months ago
Why are rumor sites devoted to Apple always so quick to grab hold of rumors that are contrary to Apple behavior and practices?

Apple is not going to launch a WiMax iPad for the same reason it isn't launching an LTE iPhone; power consumption and absence of widespread availability. Plus, Sprint is the only carrier that support WiMax and it will soon announce plans to transition to LTE. Apple isn't going to launch an iPad that's going to become obsolete in a matter of weeks.

The most plausible explanation for Sprint's iPad being "completely separate" from Verizon's models is not that they will run on different radio tech but that Apple will introduce "completely separate" SKUs for Sprint that are locked to Sprint's network. That's how it works with Sprint and Verizon phones even though both carriers use the same CDMA tech and frequency bands.

This may be far more prosaic than the possibility of a WiMax iPad but it's also far more likely to happen. I wish Apple sites would stop reaching for the most far-fetched scenarios and explanations while ignoring the much more plausible ones. Occam's razor is a good principle for rumor sites to follow.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
120 months ago

So wait, does America not have unlocked iPads? :confused:

Yes, America has unlocked iPads. Edit: Yeah, what skellener said ^^
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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