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Alleged Best Buy inventory leak shows mysterious Sprint iPad listings

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Purported leaked images of Best Buy's internal inventory system contain mysterious references to a Sprint iPad with what seem to be two-year contract options.

Sprint was noticeably absent from this week's third-generation iPad announcement, which highlighted 4G LTE providers AT&T and Verizon. The wireless operator later issued a statement saying that it had "nothing to announce at this time" regarding the arrival of the iPad on its network.

However, a new leak from Engadget may hint that preparations are being made for the iPad to become available on Sprint. A tipster sent in photos of Best Buy's inventory system with 14 separate entries for a "Sprint iPad." The listings appeared to account for different two-year contract data plans and M2M (machine-to-machine) plans.

In a Frequently Asked Questions page on its M2M site, Sprint currently lists laptops and netbooks and M2M devices such as the Amazon Kindle and Kindle DX as "embedded devices." The iPad could potentially be classified by the carrier as one such device.

Sprint only recently began offering the iPhone. Apple announced Sprint as a new carrier partner last October with the unveiling of the iPhone 4S.






Of course, even assuming that the leaked photos are accurate, it should be noted that they hardly serve as confirmation of either Sprint's, or Apple's, plans. One possibility, however, is that the two companies are waiting for Sprint to get its LTE network off the ground before it begins selling the third-generation iPad. The carrier announced at the start of this year that it is planning on launching LTE first in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and several other smaller markets by mid-2012.

Rivals Verizon and AT&T already have a significant head start on Sprint in the LTE department. Verizon launched its LTE network first and now claims to cover 200 million customers with it. AT&T said it has reached 74 million people with its own LTE network as of the end of last year.

Apple has its work cut out for it in supporting the wide range of LTE frequencies internationally as well. The company is advertising Canadian carriers Rogers, Bell and Telus as its international partners, but the new iPad Wi-Fi + 4G model does not appear to be compatible with European LTE networks.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One possibility, however, is that the two companies are waiting for Sprint to get its LTE network off the ground before it begins selling the third-generation iPad. The carrier announced at the start of this year that it is planning on launching LTE first in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and several other smaller markets by mid-2012.

That seems more likely to me.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #3 of 11
Nothing to see here! It's just a place holder like they always have.
post #4 of 11
This rumor suggests that someone who works for Best Buy likely guessed that Sprint models would be coming.

This is no evidence for anything beyond that.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post

Nothing to see here! It's just a place holder like they always have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

This rumor suggests that someone who works for Best Buy likely guessed that Sprint models would be coming.

This is no evidence for anything beyond that.


that's my thought as well.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post

Nothing to see here! It's just a place holder like they always have.

Agreed. It is logical for a reseller like Best Buy to be prepared just in case Apple and Sprint had struck a last-minute deal. I think the rumor sites give too much credence to retailer inventory databases. The retailers don't necessarily know anything before anyone else. They just prepare their systems for what is plausible.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That seems more likely to me.

I think the chances of a Sprint iPad model becoming available any time soon is rather slim. If there are no LTE parts out for whatever bands Sprint chooses to use, then the only other option is to use the very pitiful 3G EV-DO. To be honest it would probably make Sprint look terrible if people signed up to use it's non-existant 4G service and has to fall back to it's 3G EV-DO service that can barely do 3Mbps on a good day.) The reason there is a sprint iPhone is because the iPhone uses the 2G CDMA voice network on Verizon and Sprint.

What likely happened at BestBuy is that whoever was responsible for data entry, copy pasted the data for the WiFi model, changed it to 4G AT&T, Verizon and Sprint with the assumption that there would be a Sprint model.

Even the Euro LTE networks that get the AT&T LTE model aren't going to have LTE, but they will at least get DC-HSDPA which means they could in theory get 48MBps. So it's not a total loss and AT&T wants you to think that's 4G anyway. Meanwhile it buys some time for the Euro LTE networks to standardize on at least one LTE band that will be common in every country, otherwise we'll be holding out for them to re-purpose their 800/900/1800/1900 bands.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post

Nothing to see here! It's just a place holder like they always have.

I note that the Apple website is also already set-up as well for Sprint pre-ordering of the new iPad. For instance if you look at the URLs used for the ATT and Verizon logos, and modify them to say "Sprint", the images exist, they just aren't displayed yet. The path for logos are specific to the ordering process page so it looks like Apple has the infrastructure ready to go for Sprint (which isn't unexpected).

So for instance from the http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ad/select_ipad page.

ATT Logo
http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.c...g-alpha&qlt=95

Verizon Logo
http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.c...g-alpha&qlt=95

Sprint Logo (following the format of the two links above)
http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.c...g-alpha&qlt=95

Signed up after a few years just to say that!
post #9 of 11
And just before anyone asks, the T-Mobile image isn't there :-) - just Sprint.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcm View Post

I note that the Apple website is also already set-up as well for Sprint pre-ordering of the new iPad. For instance if you look at the URLs used for the ATT and Verizon logos, and modify them to say "Sprint", the images exist, they just aren't displayed yet. The path for logos are specific to the ordering process page so it looks like Apple has the infrastructure ready to go for Sprint (which isn't unexpected).

So for instance from the http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...ad/select_ipad page.

ATT Logo
http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.c...g-alpha&qlt=95

Verizon Logo
http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.c...g-alpha&qlt=95

Sprint Logo (following the format of the two links above)
http://store.storeimages.cdn-apple.c...g-alpha&qlt=95

Signed up after a few years just to say that!

Nice find.

Seems to me that if you wanted to announce to the world in the most spectacular and useful fashion that you now offer and are committed to LTE that getting an LTE capable iPad in your corner is the best way to do that.

PS: There are 18 SKU just for the 3rd gen iPad. Adding Sprint will make 24.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

Goodbyeee jragosta :: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/160864/jragosta-joseph-michael-ragosta

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post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcm View Post

I note that the Apple website is also already set-up as well for Sprint pre-ordering of the new iPad. For instance if you look at the URLs used for the ATT and Verizon logos, and modify them to say "Sprint", the images exist, they just aren't displayed yet. The path for logos are specific to the ordering process page so it looks like Apple has the infrastructure ready to go for Sprint (which isn't unexpected).

Or that logo is there because of the Sprint iPhone
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