-> Although it may appear that Sprint Nextel Corp. got the short end of the stick in an iPhone purchase agreement, Apple Inc. could have bigger and better things in store for the Overland Park-based wireless carrier — like a new Sprint-exclusive iPhone, a telecommunications analyst said Thursday. <-
What else would make a Sprint IPhone 'Exclusive' among US Carriers ???
If I were Apple I would want to release an iphone 5 this summer that would be "4G" capable on all three major carriers nationwide. This is needed to compete with other 4G phones. For Verizon this would be FD-LTE, but this wouldn't work for AT&T or Sprint since their LTE networks will still be very limited. So it would have to work on Wimax for Sprint/Clearwire and whatever pseudo 4G AT&T has nationwide currently. If instead the iphone 5 is 4G-LTE only, it will give Verizon a huge advantage, until AT&T and Sprint/Clearwire get their networks up.
If I were Apple, I would want to sell my IPhone to 600 Million Chinese who currently don't have access to it. China-Mobile's LTE protocol is TDD-LTE, the same as Clearwire's and no one else in the US. Exclusive IPhone deal for Sprint, TD-LTE IPhone to run on Clearwire's network. Verizon may not even be allowed to run a 4G IPhone on its network thanks to some clever restrictions Google had the FCC put on Verizon's LTE spectrum.