Sprint and the iPhone

Nilay Patel flagged this passage in Sprint’s lawsuit against AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile:

The iPhone and the Storm are classic examples of the existing scale advantage of the two largest national wireless carriers. Apple launched the iPhone with AT&T under an exclusive arrangement in 2007. In early 2011, Apple then gave Verizon a time-to-market advantage for the iPhone, most likely because Verizon had the largest subscriber base in the United States. Sprint has had to compete without access to the iPhone for nearly five years. The Twin Bells have had a tremendous time-to-market advantage with the iPhone, and have been able to lock many customers into two-year contracts with the iconic device.

Patel reads this as a hint that Sprint might be getting the iPhone 5. I don’t see that. (I think it makes sense that Apple would continue to expand the list of iPhone carriers, both in the U.S. and around the world, so Sprint may well be getting the iPhone 5. I’m just saying I don’t see what Sprint wrote in the above-quoted lawsuit as being any different whether they were getting the iPhone soon or not.)

What I find interesting is the tacit admission from Sprint that it is at a competitive disadvantage without the iPhone. Seems obvious to me, of course, and probably to most regular DF readers. But how do the Android supporters who insist that Android is “winning” square that belief with this?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

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