Finally! WSJ Claims iPhone 5 Is Coming to Sprint

According to the Wall Street Journal, the iPhone 5 is coming to Sprint. The usual sources "familiar with the matter" said that Sprint customers can expect to grab it in mid-October—exactly when everybody else is expected to get it.

If the AT&T-Mobile merger goes through, that means the iPhone will be available on every single major carrier in the US for the first time ever. That's over 250 million people who have access to the iPhone, with the addition of Sprint's 52 million. That's huge for Apple. It's huge for Sprint, too, which recently blamed last quarter's meh results on competition vis-a-vis "the first full quarter both major competitors offered the iPhone," according to the Journal.

More than that, one of the WSJ's sources says that Sprint's going to get the iPhone 4 at the same time—if true, it indicates Apple's going to the pull same strategy it did with the iPhone 3GS, which is to continue selling last year's model, but for dirt cheap. Accordingly, Reuters is saying Apple's going to drop a cheap 8GB iPhone 4 "within weeks."

Our educated guess as to the iPhone 5 timeline at this point looks something like this: announcement sometime next month, around when Apple's traditionally announced new iPods, and then it'll launch a few weeks later in October. Just like Apple's traditionally done with the iPhone in the summer—announce in early June, launch a few weeks later, in late June/early July.

Here are the big questions for us: Will Sprint's iPhone 5 have WiMax 4G superpowers? Is Sprint still going to be the sole champion of unlimited data after it gets the iPhone 5? Just imagining a 4G iPhone with unlimited data has me booking Sprint's subscriber signup right now. But I'm not holding my breath, either. [WSJ]