Ina Fried

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Sprint CTO Stays Mum on iPhone, Talks Unlimited and More

While T-Mobile is ruling out getting an iPhone any time soon, Sprint’s technology chief dodged the iPhone question on Monday.

“I’m not in a position to comment on that,” CTO Stephen Bye said, speaking at the Mobilize conference in San Francisco. Unlike T-Mobile, Sprint is widely expected to start carrying an iPhone once Apple introduces the latest models. Analysts have said that the company could sell 6 million iPhones once it gets its hands on the device.

Bye notes the company has done pretty well in recent years even without an iPhone to sell.

Asked whether the carrier expects to be able to maintain the fully unlimited plans it offers today, Bye said it is a constant, ongoing discussion within the company.

“We always look at our cost structure and our ability to support that,” he said. “Clearly it is a differentiator.”

Although there is a cost to offering such services, Bye notes that such plans are also the easiest to explain to customers.

Tiered plans also force customers to try to make sense of a world in which apps vary widely in how efficiently they use the network.

“They are in no position to make that decision,” he said.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik