Sprint Reportedly Goes All-In For iPhone Deal; To Exclusively Get Redesigned iPhone 5 With 4G WiMAX Support

Sprint iPhone 5

Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint has agreed to buy 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years from Apple for an average price of $655, which works out to $20 billion.

We’ve heard rumors that have claimed that Sprint – the third largest carrier in the US, will be offering Apple’s fifth generation iPhone, alongside with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint’s recent moves also seem to suggest that Sprint has been gearing up for the iPhone launch. 

With less than 24 hours to go for Apple’s much awaited Let’s Talk iPhone event, Wall Street Journal has just dropped a bombshell.

Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Hesse told the board the carrier would have to agree to purchase at least 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years—a commitment of $20 billion at current rates—whether or not it could find people to buy them, according to people familiar with the matter. In order to keep the price people pay for the phone low and competitive with rivals, Sprint would be subsidizing the cost of each phone to the tune of about $500, which would take a long time to recoup even at the high monthly fees iPhone users pay.

If that wasn’t enough, BGR reports that according to a “solid source”, Apple will indeed launch a redesigned iPhone 5, but it will be a 4G WiMAX device, which will be exclusively available on Sprint’s network, while carriers like AT&T and Verizon will get a 4G LTE iPhone in the first quarter of 2012.

 have been told that Sprint will be getting the iPhone 5 — yes the real iPhone 5, not the iPhone 4S — as an exclusive. And it will be a WiMAX device. AT&T and Verizon would launch the iPhone 4S and get the iPhone 5 sometime in the first quarter of next year as an LTE device. Globally, the iPhone 5 might be available as a 4G HSPA+ device.

It does make some sense if Sprint is taking such a multi-million dollar gamble, but sounds too good to be true. This also won’t go down too well with Apple’s existing iPhone carrier partners and we doubt users will buy or upgrade to the fifth generation iPhone if they know that 4G LTE iPhone will be available in less than 6 months, so we really doubt Apple will make such a move. What do you think?

[via WSJ, BGR]