iPhone 5 may come to Sprint network

Sprint/Wikimedia Commons/Yutaka Tsutano

Sprint logo iPhone 4 removed screen
Sprint/Wikimedia Commons/Yutaka Tsutano
(CBS) - Sprint Nextel Corp. is the latest to enter the web of iPhone 5 rumors.

Sprint will add the iPhone 5 to its roster of smartphones in mid-October, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Full coverage of iPhone on Tech Talk

Reaction to the news has been mixed. On the one hand, this would be a win for Sprint. Finally adding the iPhone to their catalog will entice potential new customers and give incentives for current ones to stay.

Don't break out the champagne and caviar yet. Sprint customers could see their data plans reorganized like AT&T and Verizon.

As CNET's Roger Cheng reminds us, "After suffering through years of heavy bandwidth usage from iPhone users, AT&T relented and switched to a tiered pricing plan last year. It only took Verizon Wireless a few months after launching its version of the iPhone 4 before it opted to apply similar data caps."

There is a silver lining to this story, however. The lower-priced iPhone 4 could be the niche that Sprint needs to stay competitive.

Larry Dignan of ZDNET points out that, "Sprint historically has catered to lower quality credit customers. In many respects, Sprint, which owns Virgin Mobile and Boost, is really betting on prepaid customers to boost growth."

That could very well be Sprint's sweet spot. While AT&T and Verizon duke it out for the high-end market, Sprint could clean house by offering a value plan.

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