Sprint may launch iPhone 5 as the carrier is set to offer unlimited data plan, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The Kansas-based company currently offers unlimited data plan for $99.99 which includes voice and data service. Present set of recent releases like HTC EVO 3D and Motorola Photon 4G are also covered under this plan. With this unlimited plan Sprint will have competitive edge over AT&T and Verizon, as both the carriers already offer iPhone. Sprint will probably have short lived advantage over its rivals. Earlier, even AT&T and Verizon were offering unlimited plans initially for both voice and data, but they later nixed those plans. In fact only those who subscribed early got to keep those plans. The unlimited plan lasts as long as your contract lasts.
Sprint is planning to lure consumers away from Verizon and AT&T. However, if Sprint decides to go ahead with the unlimited plan, then the carrier has to bare the brunt with initial costs. As time passes the carrier will eventually adopt the tiered and capped data plans used by AT&T and Verizon, once the initial surge for iPhone 5 is over. For the last 15 quarters Sprint has been in loss and has struggled to keep pace with larger rivals.
Verizon and Sprint support CDMA technology while AT&T supports GSM/UTMS. GSM and UMTS technologies are widely used worldwide. UMTS phones can be easily moved from one UMTS network to another, making them ideal for international use. CDMA users can't use a SIM card, making it far more difficult to switch handsets.
According to Nielsen Co.’s analysis, data hungry consumers are on the rise. The iPhone and Android users have downloaded apps, streamed online music and watched video or mobile TV in almost equal proportions. But while a higher proportion of iPhone owners engage in these kinds of activities, consumers with Android devices who engage in these activities consume more data on average. In the first quarter of 2011, Android smartphone users consumed an average of 582 MB of data each month, compared to 492 MB for iPhone owners.
In fact AT&T has a $15 a month plan with a 200MB cap that encourages phone customers to upgrade to smartphones. Verizon’s cheapest data plan is $30 a month with a 2GB cap. That pricing could discourage some customers from upgrading to smartphones according to Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe. AT&T remains cheaper at the low end whereas Verizon is cheaper at the higher end. As Sprint remains the last carrier to offer unlimited data plans, it’s possible that Sprint could aquire more high end smartphone users.
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray analyst, estimates that iPhone sales will rise to 6 million units with Sprint. And with Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-mobile offering pre-orders for iPhone 5 in Germany, T-Mobile in the U.S. may see the light of the day in future.
The Apple iPhone 5 has become the muse of the media, and has spawned a plethora of rumors over possible features and specifications. And while Apple continues to maintain a tight-lipped approach to iPhone 5, analysts from major research firms have continued to stoke iPhone 5-related expectations.
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has made a huge number of iPhone 5 components order expected to meet 25 Million iPhone 5 units before its release. The newest rumors point that Apple is producing 4.5 million iPhone 5 units per month ahead of its release date.
Reportedly, an internal memo found via Sprintfeed suggests that Sprint Nextel is now blocking all vacation days between September 30th and October 15th related to a so-called major phone launch. Mashable predicts iPhone 5 will be launched on October 7 while CultoMac reports that the smartphone will be released in early October with pre-orders starting September 28.