Sprint CEO offers 'no comment' on possibility of gaining Apple's iPhone

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Now that Apple is building a CDMA variant of the iPhone, the handset is technically compatible with the Sprint network in the U.S., though the carrier's CEO said Friday he wouldn't comment on any potential deal.

Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse was asked by reporters in Detroit on Friday whether Sprint would sell Apple's iPhone. The CEO would not offer an answer to the question.

Hesse has talked openly in the past about some Apple products, including the success his company's 4G Overdrive MiFi hotspot saw after the release of the iPad. He has not, however, commented on the iPhone, noting that his company does not reveal conversations it has with third parties.

But Sprint even featured the iPhone in a commercial it began airing last March, showing off its 4G network being tethered to Apple's handset over Wi-Fi, telling customers to "make your iPhone 4G." Last year the company also launched a 3G hotspot that serves as a case and hardware accessory for Apple's iPod touch.

Since its release in 2007, the iPhone remained exclusive to carrier AT&T, until this week, when a deal with Verizon was announced. Apple revealed that its agreement with Verizon is non-exclusive, which leaves the door open for other carriers to have access to Apple's handset.

Sprint is the third-largest carrier in the U.S., and it relies on a CDMA network like Verizon's. The release of a new iPhone with a built-in CDMA radio means that Apple could now choose to partner with Sprint as well.