Sprint Nextel Corp. will begin selling the iPhone 5 in mid-October, people familiar with the matter said, closing a huge hole in the No. 3 U.S. carrier’s lineup and giving Apple Inc. another channel for selling its popular phone. The timing, however, indicates Apple’s new iPhone will hit the market later than expected and too late to contribute to sales in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in September. Most observers had expected the device to arrive next month. Top U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless and No. 2 AT&T Inc. will begin selling the phone in mid-October as well, two of the people said. Sprint had more than 52 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter, compared with 106 million for Verizon and nearly 99 million for AT&T.
Sprint will also carry the iPhone 4 starting the same time. I guess the delay in the next generation iPhone launch was due to the fact that Apple was waiting for Sprint to jump on board and they could launch the iPhone 5 at the same time to all carriers.