Sunday, August 28, 2011, 08:16 pm PT (11:16 pm ET)
Sprint advises employees to give 'no comment' on iPhone 5A leaked memo from Sprint advising employees to simply state "no comment" when asked about the iPhone has added fuel to the fire on rumors that the carrier will begin offering Apple's next-generation iPhone this fall.
SprintFeed has obtained an alleged internal Sprint memo coaching dealers on how to respond to a recent report claiming that the carrier will offer the iPhone 5 alongside AT&T and Verizon in mid-October.
"A recent Wall Street Journal article mentioned that Sprint is getting the iPhone5," the memo read. "If you're asked by a customer or just talking to friends or family members, you need to avoid making any comment about the iPhone and simple [sic] state "no comment."
The memo directs employees who are asked a direct question by a customer to say, "Yes, I saw a few of those reports, I don't have any information to share." Sprint dealers are also advised to refer customers to the Sprint.com Newsroom.
The Journal reported confidently last week that Sprint will get Apple's next iPhone, as well as the iPhone 4, citing people familiar with the matter.
While the memo falls short of providing evidence that Sprint will indeed be getting Apple's popular smartphone, some have taken the company's "no comment" stance as a positive indication of its rumored plans to sell the iPhone.
As of the second quarter, Sprint had 52 million subscribers, significantly less than first-placed Verizon with 106 million and AT&T's 99 million. Sprint posted a net loss of 101,000 wireless subscribers in the second quarter, much worse than the loss of 15,000 subscribers analysts had expected.
The company has strongly opposed a merger between second-place AT&T and fourth-place T-Mobile, arguing that the deal would create a Verizon and AT&T duopoly that would threaten Sprint's existence. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is currently reviewing the acquisition and has asked for more information to evaluate the deal.
As for the iPhone 5, AppleInsider reported last week that Apple's long-time ad agency is working on ad spots for a national advertising campaign, with production schedules not slated to finish up until the first week of October. That lines up with a separate report that put forth an October launch, rather than a September debut as others have suggested.
People familiar with the situation had previously told the Journal that Apple was aiming to launch the new iPhone by the end of September, but may have delayed the release because of production yield rate issues with its contract manufacturer.
The iPhone 5 is expected to run the A5 processor and include an 8-megapixel camera. Early cases based on leaked design specs suggest that the device's form factor may see a slight redesign in the form of curved sides.
In addition, rumors of a possible "iPhone 4S" have also continued to surface. According to various reports, Apple plans to release a cheaper iPhone, likely a modification of the current iPhone 4, in order to reach out to emerging and pre-paid markets.
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