Sprint's Deal with Apple Allows Carrier to Offer LTE iPhone Should One Debut

Dow Jones reports on comments from Sprint Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer indicating that the carrier would be free to launch an LTE-equipped iPhone should one be introduced by Apple as many expect to occur later this year. There had been speculation that Apple might keep an LTE iPhone off of Sprint given that the carrier is well behind AT&T and Verizon in its plans to roll out an LTE network as it transitions away from WiMAX as its "4G" technology.

Sprint Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer declined to say if Apple has such an iPhone planned. The carrier plans to introduce the 4G LTE network in only six cities by midyear.

Nonetheless, Euteneuer said Tuesday at an investor conference that Sprint's Apple contract is similar to those of rivals AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless, and that the carrier isn't being held to any 4G LTE coverage requirements. In comparison, the other two carriers have rolled out 4G LTE to large swaths of the country.

Euteneuer noted that a theoretical iPhone launch in October of this year, in line with last year's schedule, would arrive with Sprint having rolled out LTE to many of the major cities in the United States. Consequently, he suggested that Sprint would in reality not be that far behind AT&T and Verizon by that time.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
109 months ago
I'm not on Sprint and I don't really know why but I'm kind of rooting for them.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

I'm not on Sprint and I don't really know why but I'm kind of rooting for them.


I've spent a good amount of time on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. AT&T is without a doubt my least favorite carrier, and while I'm a Verizon user today, I was quite happy with Sprint the last couple of years, and while they were not perfect, I feel like they really are trying. Their customer service improved dramatically 4-5 years ago when they got so much bad press, and in my experience after, they went above and beyond to make me happy and solve my problems. When I switched to Verizon for the iPhone last February, I felt bad leaving Sprint because I had a couple of complicated customer service experiences that they truly went above and beyond on. I called and made a point to tell them that I was leaving solely because of the iPhone, and that I was generally very happy with them as a company.

Their call quality wasn't as great as Verizon's (and in a few certain spotty areas could be terrible), but generally it was quite good for me. I never had much to complain about past BlackBerry device failures that you can't really blame on Sprint. Their data speeds were descent as well. Not quite as fast on 3G as Verizon, but on a phone, plenty usable at 1-2 Mbps on average. And again, much like Verizon, I got consistent service on Sprint BlackBerry's whereas with the AT&T iPhone 3G and 3GS, the data connection was for all intents and purposes useless on highways driving through less populated areas. It was so ridiculous to try to load things on an iPhone and have to switch over to a crappy BlackBerry, but that's AT&T for you.

What made Sprint's few shortcomings when comparing with Verizon more than easy to swallow was their great prices on plans and the fact that their plans offer a lot of content without the limits. They're simple and straightforward. I have very little bad to say about Sprint, and I too am certainly rooting for them.

(more on my experience with Verizon and AT&T below)

I'm currently (and finally thanks to the new iPad) completely locked into the Verizon network for everything. I have to say that it's by far the best network for call quality and general signal strength; I don't think I've ever really dropped more than a few calls on my Verizon iPhone now and I've had one since 7 AM on release day. And the new iPad on LTE is incredible; it's yet to have to switch over to 3G mode. But even if it does, Verizon 3G is literally just about everywhere in the USA, and it's a descent and very usable connection anywhere. But with Verizon, you definitely pay the price to have the best service, connection and at least in my experience, constistently great customer service.

With AT&T, I dropped calls all the time and had incredibly inconsistent voice quality. And while the data is great when you have a strong 3G signal in an area that's not too congested, that same 3G signal can easily be no better or worse than Verizon's slower but at least consistent signal. Sometimes it was far worse than Verizon's; almost useless to have 3G when half the time nothing loads or loads at sub-Edge speeds. Gotta love cities. And of course, Edge is basically useless, especially on the iPad, and it clicked into this far more often than I'd like even in fairly major metropolitan areas. And they were always *******s to me. On the phone, in stores, supervisors, managers, all unprofessional, rude, ignorant...pathetic customer service.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
If Sprint has LTE by the time the iPhone LTE debuts, I'm in. The only thing that would sway me away would be an LTE iPhone on T-Mobile. There's is no way I am ever renewing with AT&T ever again.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago
Friend of mine was in town last weekend and had just gotten a Galaxy S2 on Sprint and was all excited that his phone was getting '4G' and was amazed at how quick it was. I had him download speedtest.net and he was getting about 2.5Mbps.
While sitting right beside him, I got 6Mbps on my 4S on AT&T.

Then I had him turn off the 4G...300kbps. :eek:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

No its a GSM variant so of course you can talk and surf it was always there


Thank you for straightening me out!:) Sprint still does not work where I live!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
109 months ago

I'm not on Sprint and I don't really know why but I'm kind of rooting for them.


Because competition is good for the consumer. Imagine if there was only 1 carrier in the US... we'd have 10kbps up/down speeds limited to 1megabyte of bandwidth per month for $100/month.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...