By Quentin Fottrell
A job posting of interest to consumers: Apple is looking for a “carrier engineer” in Kansas City, Missouri, around 20 miles from Sprint’s headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. Does this mean Sprint will be next to carry the iPhone? Apple clearly doesn’t want to give too much away, as it changed the location of same job from Kansas to Cupertino, California. (A carrier engineer “supports taking products through technical approval at the carriers,” according to the ad.)
The blog AppleInsider notes that the job posting requires CDMA experience and Sprint operates the second-largest CDMA network in the country. For non-geeks: CDMA is a wireless technology that transmits audio; a fancier version of radio waves. Apple already operates a CDMA iPhone with New York-based Verizon in a non-exclusive deal and T-Mobile can’t carry the iPhone until its merger with AT&T goes through, according to the terms of that deal. (Apple did not respond to a request for comment.)
Michelle Leff Mermelstein, a spokeswoman for Sprint, says the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation, or products or services that have yet to be announced. She tells Pay Dirt, “We are extremely proud of the robust portfolio of devices we have for our customers today without an iPhone. We continue to innovate in the Android space with our upcoming EVO 3D and the newly available Kyocera Echo with two touch screens.”
Analysts say Sprint’s customer service and network have improved significantly in recent years and its unlimited voice/text/Internet package is attractive, though the industry is clearly moving toward tiered pricing with AT&T offering it and Verizon recently indicating it will do so later this year. Scott Sutherland, analyst at Wedbush Securities, says, “Any carrier would want to carry the iPhone. It makes a lot of sense for Apple to expand to other CDMA operators now.”
Would you be tempted by a Sprint iPhone?