Despite the majority of rumors suggesting that the next iPhone won’t be that big of a departure when compared to the already released iPhone 4, there’s no stopping the rumor mill from going full-steam when it has to do with Apple. And while we’re still waiting to hear about the next version of the immensely popular iPhone line-up, analysts are busy trying to figure out Apple’s next move in the mobile market, and how the major carriers come into play. Word of Apple’s impending plans to launch the next iPhone on all four major wireless carriers aren’t new, and many people are simply expecting it at his point, but if Apple does indeed do this, will it really bring in new customers? In particular, will an iPhone launch on the Now Network bring in a wave of new subscribers?
The specifications for the next iPhone are still anyone’s guess at this point. There’s some out there who believe that the next version will look quite different when put next to the iPhone 4, while the majority seem to believe that the next iPhone will look pretty much like an iPhone 4, but that the majority of alterations will come under the hood. There’s probably going to be the dual-core A5 processor, and there will probably be better cameras. But, these are things that people expect in an updated handset, so if these get upgraded there won’t be any surprise there. Will we see a bigger screen? Maybe. But there probably won’t be any support for LTE for Verizon’s handset, which is also not surprising.
There’s a chance that Apple could come out at the next iPhone’s announcement and throw everyone for a loop. If they announce something completely different from the iPhone 4, and pack in plenty of new features both in the hardware and software departments, people will start clamoring for the next iPhone all over again. But if the rumors line up, and we get exactly what we’re all expecting, it doesn’t look like the next iPhone will be all that desirable. Especially if the competition continues to pick up the pace throughout the year.
So if the next iPhone is just a slightly upgraded version of the iPhone 4, but it’s coming to the Sprint network, is that going to be enough to draw in new subscribers to the Now Network? A couple of years ago, when the Sprint iPhone rumors started to really pick up, I could see that any version of the iPhone back then could have been enough to draw in new customers. The iPhone’s popularity wasn’t really being threatened as hard as it is now, and the carrier in question wasn’t already hard at work pushing Apple’s main competitor as hard as they are. Sprint’s reliance on Android isn’t a secret, and we know it’s not slowing down any time soon.
We watched Verizon launch the iPhone, and we watched their subscriber base inflate a little, but not nearly as much as some thought it would. And we’re still seeing Big Red push Google’s Android mobile OS as hard as ever, with the majority of their handsets premiering the OS. If Sprint is going to launch the next iPhone, will the wireless carrier try to drag some attention away from Android, and focus it on Apple’s next handset? And if they do that, will it make any difference? Are people going to want the next iPhone that much, that they’ll be willing to sign a new two-year contract with Sprint to get it, versus having it on any of the other wireless carriers, if given the opportunity?
It could come down to plans, and service area, as anyone should expect. If Sprint doesn’t have the greatest of coverage in your area, then getting the next iPhone on Sprint’s network is probably not the wisest decision. But with Sprint’s unlimited plans, the iPhone may be a great option for someone who plans on really using the device. But, the question still stands: is the iPhone enough of a name, enough of a device, to bring in a plethora of new subscribers to the Now Network? Let me know what you think in the comments below.