Tuesday was a day of dueling rumors: The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed “people familiar with the matter” Tuesday afternoon as saying that Sprint would be getting the iPhone 5 in mid-October, the same time frame that Verizon and AT&T will begin selling the device. While Sprint becoming an iPhone carrier would be a big deal for Apple and Sprint, the timing element of the story clashes with a Reuters report from earlier in the day that said iPhone 5 will ship at the end of September.
There have been frequent timing conflicts in the many waves of iPhone 5 rumors during the last 6-9 months. It’s been about evenly split between sources who have said it will ship in September and sources that peg the release in October.
Reconciling the two may be as simple as noting that Apple has historically had a media event in September, and if it does so this year, the company could well announce the iPhone 5, while planning the actual release date for the device in October.
Whatever the reality ends up being, The Journal is also reporting that Sprint will be carrying a version of the iPhone 4 that runs on its network, something that also ties into Reuters’ report that Apple will be offering an 8GB iPhone 4 to service the entry level smartphone market when it unveils the iPhone 5.
The WSJ report focused on the Sprint angle, noting that while the iPhone will give the #3 carrier in the U.S. a much-needed boost, it could also indirectly hurt Sprint by making it easier for AT&T to gain regulatory approval for its announced acquisition of T-Mobile, the nation’s #4 carrier.
All that from a single device with an Apple logo on it.