updated 11:40 am EDT, Fri September 9, 2011
Sprint will use unlimited data as iPhone edge
Sprint's iPhone 5 will see the carrier keep the unlimited data it's known for when it ships next month, leaks hinted Friday. Despite presumptions that Apple would 'ruin' Sprint and see it cap data like AT&T and Verizon eventually did, the network will still use the same $40 unrestricted plan it runs for Android and other smartphones. The company is counting on the lack of caps to lure customers in, Bloomberg heard.
Neither Apple nor Sprint would comment.
The belief that an iPhone would force Sprint to cap data was based mostly on preconceptions that a flood of new, heavy bandwidth users would strain Sprint's network or else that iPhones inherently degraded the system. Its $10 'premium' data surcharge on top of the regular voice and data combo plans was deliberately instituted to make sure the carrier could still afford unlimited service, even with frequent smartphone use.
Recent studies have also debunked some stereotypes and shown that Android uses more data on average than iPhones. Sprint may have a distinct advantage in its 4G network, which will keep the Evo 3D, Photon 4G and other phones on a separate network most of the time for their Internet access.
Although it's often conspicuously evasive on the prospects of an iPhone on its network, Sprint has made little secret of its desire to have the device and that it sees Apple, not Google, as crucial to success. Its recent lawsuit against AT&T and T-Mobile to stop their merger cited the iPhone as key evidence of how larger carriers, like AT&T and Verizon, were reportedly abusing their size to shut out smaller competitors.