Make us your home page
Instagram

Sprint to offer iPhone 5, unlimited data plans

PORTLAND, Ore. — Sprint Nextel will offer Apple's iPhone next month with unlimited data service plans to distinguish itself from rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Bloomberg News reported.

Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, plans to begin selling the device in mid October under a deal with Apple for the next model, the iPhone 5, according to Bloomberg, which cited people who asked not to be identified.

Becoming the country's only operator to offer the device with unlimited data service for a flat fee may help Sprint draw customers from AT&T and Verizon, which already carry the phone.

Sprint is struggling to compete against larger rivals and has lost money for 15 consecutive quarters. The addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup will help it win customers, said Matthew Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities.

"It's a competitive disadvantage if your two larger competitors have the iPhone and you don't," Thornton said in an interview. "Getting the iPhone closes that gap."

Michelle Leff Mermelstein, a spokeswoman for Sprint, said the company doesn't comment on products or services it hasn't announced. Natalie Harrison, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment on rumors or speculation.

Sprint already offers unlimited data plans for smart phones such as Research In Motion's BlackBerry and HTC's Evo, which runs on Google's Android operating system. Sprint's unlimited voice and data service costs $99.99 a month.

AT&T and Verizon charge for data service on top of voice service plans. AT&T, which has unlimited voice service for $69.99 a month, offers 200 megabytes of data for $15 a month, 2 gigabytes of data for $25 a month, or 4 gigabytes of data for $45 a month. Verizon's data plans for the iPhone start at $30 a month for 2 gigabytes and rise to $80 for 10 gigabytes, in addition to unlimited voice service for $69.99 a month.

Unlimited data plans are a draw because they allow customers to surf the Web, share photos or watch videos as much as they want.

They're particularly valuable for people who use mobile devices for applications such as Netflix's movie service or Pandora Media's streaming music.

"The advantage of unlimited is, it's cheaper for the big users," said Peter Rhamey, an analyst at Bank of Montreal. The plans may draw other customers because "people don't like bill shock," he said. "Consumers will pay a premium for unlimited."

Apple's iPhone has proved to be a valuable recruitment tool for rivals: Of the 5.6 million smartphones AT&T sold in the second quarter, the device accounted for 3.6 million. A quarter of the subscribers who bought the iPhone were new to AT&T, the company said.

Sprint to offer iPhone 5, unlimited data plans 09/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011 10:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Bloomberg News.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Housing starts fall in July

    Real Estate

    WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell 4.8 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million. Groundbreakings for multi-family buildings such as apartments slumped 17.1 percent, while single-family house construction slipped 0.5 percent.

    On Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported on U.S. home construction in July. 
[AP file photo]
  2. Pasco doubles tourist tax to finance sports complex

    Tourism

    DADE CITY — Pasco County is doubling its tourist tax to 4 percent to build an indoor sports complex in Wesley Chapel and improve its outdoor boat ramps in west Pasco.

    Pasco County's plan to double its tourist tax on overnight accommodations to 4 percent is intended to help finance a $25 million sports complex in the Wiregrass Ranch area of Wesley Chapel. It  would include a 98,000-quare-foot multipurpose gymnaisium of eight basketball courts and dedicated space for gymnastics, cheerleading and a fitness center. Shown here is the four-court fieldhouse with 50,000-square-feet of space for competitions at  Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.  Times photo by James Borchuck (2007)
  3. USAA expansion at Crosstown Center may bring Hillsborough 1,000 more jobs

    Corporate

    BRANDON — USAA will bring as many as 1,000 more jobs to Hillsborough County in early 2019 with the expansion of its existing operations in Brandon.

    Stuart Parker, president and chief executive officer of USAA, speaks at the company's new Crosstown Center location in Brandon during a visit following its 2015 opening. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times, 2016]
  4. FHP bids for pay raise a week after disastrous publicity

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — This is real bad timing.

    FHP license plate.
  5. Rhetoric over: Three-nation effort to revise NAFTA begin

    National

    WASHINGTON — Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: The North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Claudio Montes checks a shipping manifest for U.S. manufactured parts heading to assembly plants in Mexico at Freight Dispatch Service Agency LTD in Pharr, Texas, in June. The freight service ships parts between the U.S. and Mexico that pass through the border freely due to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: NAFTA. [Nathan Lambrecht | The Monitor via AP]