While Sprint added the iPhone 4S to their lineup last October, last week's new iPad event came and went with Sprint decidedly absent from the new iPad carrier announcements. So what's the deal? Will Sprint be getting the new iPad? Well, Engadget has discovered entries in Best Buy's internal database system that may just hint that the new iPad will reach Sprint too.
the new iPad for Sprint has arrived in Best Buy's internal inventory system. Does this mean we're going to see the devices magically show up next week at the electronic megastore? Eh, we wouldn't count on it showing up that soon. But is it possible that Sprint will have Apple's iconic tablet ready to go alongside the Samsung Galaxy Nexus when it launches its multi-billion-dollar 4G investment?
Sprint's 4G deployment is well behind Verizon and a fair bit behind AT&T (thanks in no small part to the distraction that was WiMax). While they could perhaps have offered a CDMA iPad right away, being stuck on a theoretical maximum speed of 3mbps while AT&T and Verizon LTE can hit 72 mbps -- and even AT&T fake 4G/3G can hit HSPA+ speeds well into the double digits -- would have been less than optimal.
So if you're holding out for the new iPad on Sprint, all hope may not be lost. However, even though the New iPad is carrier unlocked, if you buy now you probably won't be able to switch to Sprint later -- CDMA doesn't work that way, and it's uncertain if either the AT&T or Verizon LTE iPads would work on Sprint LTE.
Unfortunately, until Apple and Sprint make an announcement, all you can do is wait. (Or grab an AT&T or Verizon model for now and sell it and buy a Sprint one later -- no contracts, after all.)