Apple has been working together with Sprint to develop an iPad compatible with its network, and it may be ready to launch together or soon after Sprint’s iPhone in October, reports 9to5Mac.

Neither Sprint nor Apple have confirmed that the carrier will be getting the iPhone 5 this year, but multiple rumors have strongly hinted that will happen. Most recently, Sprint blocked out dates for a “major phone launch” in early October.

It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the iPad on Sprint once it does get the iPhone. When the Verizon iPhone was officially announced earlier this year, the carrier was quick to confirm that it would be offering iPads compatible with its network as well.

Intriguingly, 9to5Mac notes that the Sprint version of the iPad will be completely different from the Verizon model, even though both networks use the same CDMA standard. Apple could potentially be eyeing a 4G WiMax version of the iPad exclusively for Sprint, notes the site, though I doubt that’s the case. Sprint’s WiMax network is looking dated these days, and Apple would be better off spending time developing a 4G LTE iPad, which would be supported on more carriers worldwide.

Still, it’s an interesting fantasy, since Sprint remains the only US carrier with unlimited data plans. And from what we hear, the carrier will be milking its unlimited data offerings to help market its iPhone.

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