updated 05:50 pm EST, Mon December 5, 2011
Sprint CFO shifts LTE 4G dates slightly
Sprint on Monday refined its target for its first LTE-based phones. Penning them in originally for mid-summer, the company through CFO Joe Euteneuer clarified with CNET that the goal was now the second half of 2012. This didn't preclude a summer launch, but it left open the possibility of a later release.
With Android-based LTE phones already on the market now through AT&T and Verizon, Sprint is most likely waiting both on a larger network and on other providers. Apple is known to be lining up LTE iPhone providers. With the exception of a delay this year, Apple has mostly kept to summer iPhone launches and would have the much more efficient LTE chipsets it would need to do a 4G device without compromising its design.
Euteneuer also devoted time in the chat to the existing, 3G iPhone 4S. Declining numbers, he did say that sales had been "better than expectations." Apple's influence was also evident in the total number of new customers, which was a "pleasant surprise" over what Sprint had expected.
Historically, the iPhone has often become the most popular smartphone on a given North American carrier shortly after its release. Even with an influx of new Android devices, the old iPhone 3GS outsells Android on an individual basis at AT&T. Along with a possible repeat at Sprint, better-than-expected sales could help Sprint recover faster than expected through its four-year deal with Apple.