In light of speculation that Sprint will carry the iPhone 5 this autumn, Sprint store management has reportedly ordered its employees to keep quiet.
The blog Sprintfeed published what looks like an internal memo for retailers, acknowledging the Wall Street Journal's report about a Sprint iPhone 5, and telling employees to say no more. "If you're asked by a customer or just talking to friends and family members, you need to avoid making any comment about the iPhone and simply state 'no comment,'" the memo says.
The Journal reported last week that Sprint will begin carrying the iPhone 5 in October, alongside AT&T and Verizon Wireless, citing "people familiar with the matter." According to the memo, employees are allowed to admit that they've seen the rumors, but should then say they have no information to share. The memo doesn't confirm that Sprint is getting the iPhone 5, but it doesn't deny the rumor, either.
I wouldn't read into this too much. Whether the iPhone 5 is coming to Sprint or not, the company probably wants to keep its employees in the dark to discourage them from spreading any misinformation or rumors that turn out to be false.
It's possible that even Sprint doesn't know whether it's getting the iPhone 5 yet. Remember, when Verizon was expected to get the iPhone 4, the carrier seemed to be unsure until the launch was imminent. "If the iPhone comes to us, it's because Apple thinks it's time," Verizon's then-CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in November, two months before Apple announced the iPhone 4 on Verizon's network. "Our interests are beginning to come together more but they have to take steps to align their technology with ours."
The iPhone 5 is rumored to have a dual-mode capabilities, allowing Apple to accommodate GSM and CDMA carriers with a single baseband chip. Although Sprint and Verizon are both CDMA carriers, a Sprint iPhone 5 would have to support a slightly different set of wireless frequencies. The latest rumors expect Apple to announce the iPhone 5 in September, ahead of an October launch.