Will Sprint be getting the new iPad?

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.)

Source: Engadget

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 22 comments. Add yours.

ericUT says:

I wouldn't hold my breath at all. Sprint's LTE network Will not lie in the 700 MHz band like AT&T and T-Mobile requiring an entirely different model of iPad. This in an of itself isn't a showstopper. What IS a showstopper is the lack of coverage when it launches. 5 or so markets covered in LTE by the end of the year isn't exactly jaw-dropping. I just don't think there's enough demand for an iPad on Sprint for Apple to make that many concessions. Considering 3G/4G iPad plans don't require an existing mobile subscription and they are contract free in the US, I don't see any reason why a Sprint user couldn't pick up an AT&T or Verizon iPad and be just as satisfied if not more satisfied than with a Sprint 4G iPad.

9thwonder says:

i agree that i probably won't go there and that even if it did they wouldn't have coverage in many places.
That said, do we know that this new ipad won't work on spectrum Sprint will use for LTE. This website seemed to think that Sprint had several options on how they will build out there LTE http://www.dailywireless.org/2011/09/27/sprints-lte-plans-leaked/ One mentioned is that they will use the their current iDen frequency 806-824 and 851-869 MHz for LTE. They also mention that some 700 mhz spectrum owned by qualcom that they were trying to sell to AT&T. Now i don't know if it's sold or not as this was written in september but i could also imagine that with the clearwire thing falling through and the decision not to buy metropcs that what they may be doing is looking rather to buy spectrum from people like Qualcomm. I'm just brainstorming not stating facts mind you. The article also says it could use 2.6 mhz frequencey woudh would be an issue for roaming but would be easier to manage. But there's also an update to a cnet article that claimed sprint would use 700mhz "d-block" spectrum whatever that means. But that was apparently wrong. The update claims they will use "G-block" spectrum that they own from Nextel for LTE in addition to the 800mhz range above. Now i don't know exactly what that means, and the chart in the article that shows that spectrum doesn't show a "g-block" so i'm honestly not positive if it's still in the 700 mhz spectrum. Regardless it's all in flux. And lol, i'm not even getting a tablet. I'm just happy that the towers near my house are getting an "data" upgrade in the next 6 months. should help alleviate the crappy data rates we get in my area.

Kid.Canada says:

Here's a better idea, buy an LTE enabled smartphone and tether it to your iPad 2 and pay for one data plan instead of paying for two. After all, the "New" iPad isn't all that great compared to the iPad 2.

Kid.Canada says:

...It's all hype that's all.

9thwonder says:

I'm sorry but is LTE actually not faster? I mean you call it hype but seems to me they deliver basically what they promise. a faster data speed. Doesn't seem like "just hype." It seems that it's more then hype. that it's a product executed well. It Seems like a feature executed as expected. It may not be a big deal to you. In fact, one of the reasons i am happy with my iphone 4s is because faster data is not more that important to me then having a phone i really like.
But to me there is a big difference between something i'm not interested in and something that is all hype and no thus no substance.

Wayne says:

Of course it's all hype. The typical Apple hater has been saying that since about 1977 or so.

DARK_BLU says:

It wouldn't matter to me if Sprint did get an iPad. I'm not paying for a second data plan when everywhere I go has WiFi. This is probably just a clerical error. I'm going to get an iPad 2 anyway. Far too many apps work with it and the Digtech Pedalboard I'm interested in using, works with the iPad 2.

9thwonder says:

that's what i'm saying. in the future if i ever buy an ipad i'm not getting another data plan. One is too many.

wiiu says:

Can't we just buy a Clear MiFi (same network as Sprit) and have unlimited 4G data?

Squeak Foo says:

The screen shot is for data plans and not for actual iPads. The data is cut off also. Sprint iPad New 2 Year Agreement and Sprint iPad Month to Month. I believe these are from when Sprint had there me too moment when Verizon got an iPad. People may remember Sprint even had a special carrying case that would hold the iPad and the Sprint Overdrive. No matter what device or plans available all data price options show up because certain products get additional discounts with a 2 year agreement.
This is not just an opinion. I am a Best Buy employee.

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hotgirllei says:

It is also the first of any of Apple’s iOS apps to abandon Google Maps. Instead, iPhoto for iPad, an advanced photo editing app, relies on the OpenStreetMap Foundation, a British not-for-profit that offers free mapping data gathered by a worldwide army of 400,000 volunteers.
http://emilyjery.blog.com/2012/03/09/some-of-fantastic-improvements-of-t...

hotgirllei says:

It is also the first of any of Apple’s iOS apps to abandon Google Maps. Instead, iPhoto for iPad, an advanced photo editing app, relies on the OpenStreetMap Foundation, a British not-for-profit that offers free mapping data gathered by a worldwide army of 400,000 volunteers.
http://dvd-to-ipad-converters.com/the-new-ipad/eight-bright-spot-of-the-...

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