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September 15, 2011
As the clock ticks down to Apple’s usual Fall event, the rumors about what exactly will be unveiled continue to ramp up. We’ve already discussed the possibility of Sprint carrying the iPhone 4 and/or 5, but now rumor has it Sprint will also be the first carrier with a 4G iPad. Here’s the scoop …
A tip of the hat goes to 9to5Mac.com, which apparently has confirmed that “Apple and Sprint have completed work on a version of the iPad for Sprint’s data network.” The alleged tablet is different from Verizon’s CDMA iPad, which leads 9to5Mac to believe it will be a 4G iPad, which also is corroborated via The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
So what’s the big deal if Sprint gets a 4G iPad? It’s not a huge deal, exactly, but it does mean consumers are about to get more choices. Sprint is also the only data carrier left that offers a real unlimited data offering without any caps or throttling. What does this mean for the channel, realistically? It may mean a greater influx of iPads into the workforce and IT ecosystem, so VARs working in the mobile security and networking spaces may want to brush up on their iOS knowledge. But here’s where things get interesting: If Apple collaborated with Sprint on developing a 4G iPad, the iPhone 5 also could very likely be a 4G iPhone. It’s not clear which networks would get a 4G iPhone, and whether all the chips are different, but at the very least, it suggests that Apple is finally looking at 4G technology, which it has long considered too immature for prime-time.
Meanwhile, sit tight and hold on to your wallet if you’re thinking of buying any new mobile Apple hardware. The latest web whispers suggest we’ll see iOS 5 hit the scene early October 2011, and an iPhone 5 on or around Oct. 15, 2011.
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