An Apple staff demonstrates the Verizon iPhone 4 at Verizon's iPhone 4 launch event in New York January 11, 2011
An Apple staff member demonstrates the Verizon iPhone4 at a launch event in New York last January. Indications are that a Verizon iPhone5 may be on its way. REUTERS

Sprint will offer the iPhone 5 in mid-October under an unlimited data plan, reported Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources.

In doing so, Sprint will be the only U.S. operator to offer an unlimited iPhone 5, a distinction that may help it draw customers away from AT&T and Verizon, the two current operators offering the iPhone.

Just by getting the iPhone itself, Sprint will erase one of its previous deficiencies against AT&T and Verizon. Indeed, a Wall Street Journal report in August claiming that Sprint will get the iPhone sent its stock up 10 percent at one point during the day.

Sprint's iPhone, moreover, will get the benefit of the company's unlimited competitive advantage.

Verizon and AT&T no longer offer unlimited plans. T-Mobile (which may also be getting the iPhone 5) does, but it throttles heavy data users.

Sprint, therefore, is the only major carrier to offer a true unlimited plan, a fact it began highlighting in recent marketing campaigns. The company's unlimited data and voice cost $99.99 per month.

Some analysts and bloggers have argued that most customers do not need Sprint's relatively expensive unlimited plan.

However, it's undeniable that many customers are willing to pay the premium for it.

In an interview with Engadget published in July 19, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said people like the simplicity of an unlimited plan.

At least in the short-term, Sprint is likely committed to it, judging by its marketing campaign (above). However, Hesse warned that nothing is guaranteed forever, meaning it's possible that Sprint may eventually switch to tiered data plans or start throttling.