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Sprint to offer iPhone starting in mid-October

by Kelly MacNeil on August 24, 2011

Sprint has often sat behind AT&T and Verizon when it comes to the discussion of mobile phones, but it may have made a move to make itself relevant once again. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint is set to sell Apple's iPhone sometime in mid-October.

The move could be a mutually beneficial one for the two companies. On the one hand, Apple will have another sales channel to provide consumers with the popular device, while Sprint will be able to better compete with AT&T and Verizon, both of which have nearly twice as many as users Sprint's 52 million.

"Sprint needs it," Richard Doherty, director of the research firm Envisioneering Group, told the Journal. "There are a lot of families that will embrace the iPhone."

Interestingly, some analysts believe that it may end up hurting Sprint in the long run because it could allow AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA.

The revelation that Sprint will likely start carrying the iPhone has also led to speculation about when the much anticipated next version of the device will hit stores. While the Journal reported that the device will be similar to the iPhone 4, some are speculating that it could be the next model, which would likely boost Sprint's sales.

Still, it may be difficult for Sprint to loosen the stranglehold that AT&T has on the iPhone market. Until earlier this year, it was the only carrier allowed to offer the device, and while Verizon has since got in on the action, AT&T has already sold around 7.2 million iPhones in 2011 compared to just 4.5 million by Verizon.

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