Just when I thought Gene Muster was the only analyst over at Piper Jaffray comes a new report from analyst Chris Larsen who writes that the next-gen iPhone (whether it’s called the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5) will run on both Sprint and T-Mobile.
“While we remain uncertain regarding the next-generation iPhone’s specs and features,” Larsen explains, “we believe the most noteworthy change could be the device’s ability to run on more networks, specifically Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S.”
Up until this past February when the iPhone hit Verizon, the iPhone was an AT&T exclusive and achieved remarkable success despite will publicized problems regarding connection issues. And while many initial complaints eventually subsided as AT&T moved to respond to customer complaints, having just been out to California I can attest that reception and connection issues on AT&T are still very much a reality.
But the real significance of the iPhone hitting Sprint and T-Mobile is that it will bring Apple’s revolutionary smartphone to all four of the major US carriers, enabling it to compete on a level playing field with Android. Android handsets have performed remarkably over the past few months in accumulating marketshare, no doubt helped by the fact that folks stuck on Sprint, T-Mobile, and until recently Verizon didn’t have much of a choice when it came to selecting an attractive smartphone. The iPhone on all 4 major carriers takes away one of Android’s key advantages. Specifically, Larsen anticipates that the iPhone on all US carriers will increase Apple’s “addressable market by 30%.”
This of course isn’t the first we’ve heard of the iPhone moving to Spring. Note that back in early June we reported that the iPhone 5 was currently in the advanced testing stage on Sprint’s network with rumblings that there were even Sprint compatible cell towers on Apple’s campus – which if you recall, is exactly the sequence of events that preceded the Verizon iPhone launch.