updated 12:40 pm EDT, Thu June 9, 2011
3G, 4G tech in progress at Apple, Sprint
The first Sprint-ready iPhone is currently in an advanced testing stage, sources claimed Thursday. Externally the model is said by 9to5 to resemble the iPhone 4, which could support the idea that Apple's next-generation design will be evolutionary rather revolutionary. Some reports have indicated that Apple wants the next iPhone to use a hybrid receiver, capable of operating on both GSM and CDMA networks. A Sprint iPhone, therefore, might be capable of operating on AT&T, T-Mobile and/or Verizon as well.
The device is currently said to be in circulating amongst both Apple and Sprint's research divisions; Apple in particular is believed to have ordered Sprint-compatible celltowers for its Cupertino campus. Early groundwork is allegedly being laid for a 4G Sprint model, but the hardware in testing is described as 3G-only.
Depending on the progress of 4G talks, support for the technology could be pushed as far as late 2012. If something arrives in fall 2011 it will likely be 3G-only.