Rumored iPhone 5 from iLab Factory (Photo Credit: iLab Factory)
The upcoming fall will make purchase decisions hard for consumers. More tablets and capable smartphones will be on the market than ever before, and one of the key launches everybody has their eyes on is the iPhone 5.
If you're one of those trying to decide whether to purchase the now-popular Android-running Samsung Galaxy S3 or wait for the Apple iPhone 5, then the decision may come down to carriers for you.
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To begin with, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is currently sold through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.
The Galaxy S3 launched to an incredibly high level of demand, which prompted carriers like AT&T and Sprint to delay in-store launches. But once July came around, supply stocks caught up, and all five carriers listed above offered the smartphone for sale.
The iPhone 5, on the other hand, won't enjoy such a large launch.
There has been no official acknowledgement of the existence of a next-gen iPhone from Apple, but at the moment it's safe to say that At&T, Verizon, and Sprint will be the three carriers selling the iPhone 5 at launch.
AT&T and Verizon have both announced vacation blackout dates between September 21-30, signaling a huge product launch is ahead, just around the time the iPhone 5 is expected to be released.
Sprint began discounting the iPhone 4S, which may signal that the carrier is keen on getting rid of existing 4S inventories in order to make space for the iPhone 5. Sprint also offered the iPhone 4S at launch along with AT&T and Verizon.
T-Mobile has made it clear that they will not not have the iPhone 5 immediately, stating design conflicts with its network. Leaked company memos also show that T-Mobile is specifically telling its employees to sell 'against' the iPhone soon.Keep in mind that unlocked iPhones work on T-Mobile's network, so once an unlocked iPhone 5 comes around, T-Mobile consumers should probably be able to hop on their network with them.
U.S. Cellular will likely not be able to get its hands on initial shipments of the iPhone 5 due to the ridiculous amount of demand the bigger three national carriers will face. Apple does also charge a high subsidy on the phone, which could deter smaller carriers from aggressively carrying the iPhone in the beginning.