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Sprint iPhone has investors worried

Sprint iPhone: Did Sprint pay too much for it?

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Sprint iPhone announcement: Apple fans are amped. The computer and gadget maker is expected to announce a new, more powerful version of its wildly popular smartphone Tuesday, more than a year after it unveiled the iPhone 4. Sprint reportedly signed an exclusive contract for the phone.

Richard Drew/AP/File

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Sprint has reportedly signed an exclusive deal with Apple for the first few months of the new iPhone. If true, the deal would mark a major coup for a phone carrier that is ranked third nationally and has been bleeding customers since 2006.

The rumors, reported by BGR, would mean Sprint will be the exclusive carrier for the new phone until early 2012, when AT&T and Verizon begin selling the device.

So how did Sprint pull this off? The carrier has lagged behind competitors for years but managed to snag an exclusive contract for the much-anticipated iPhone update.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Sprint committed to buy at least 30.5 million iPhones for approximately $20 billion. The problem some see is that Sprint is risking it all on the new iPhone. The carrier has a market capitalization of just $8.4 billion, compared to their $20 billion commitment.

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