Sprint to Carry The iPhone 5 in the US This October

In what amounts to the biggest iPhone-related headline in recent days, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint will offer the iPhone 5 starting this fall.

Although Apple is yet to formally announce the forthcoming launch of the iPhone 5, it is widely believed that the fifth generation handset will make its market debut within the next four to six weeks.

After four years of exclusive coverage by AT&T in the US, the Verizon network has been an iPhone 4 carrier since early 2011.

Sprint Nextel Corp. will begin selling the iPhone 5 in mid-October, people familiar with the matter said, closing a huge hole in the No. 3 U.S. carrier’s lineup and giving Apple Inc. another channel for selling its popular phone.

Although it remains to be seen how much “damage” Sprint will do to Verizon and AT&T as it joins the iPhone fold, Sprint’s 52 million subscribers could prove formidable to the top two carriers in the states.

Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless network, presently boasts of 106 million subscribers, with AT&T trailing close behind with approximately 99 million.