Sprint offers iPhone 4 preorders

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After years of being one of the odd men out in the iPhone market, Sprint jumped in with both feet on Thursday, offering preorders of Apple’s 8 GB iPhone 4 for $99. Preorder sales of the new iPhone 4S, which Sprint will also be offering, begin on Friday.

There were prominent reports ahead of Tuesday’s Apple event announcing the iPhone 4S that Sprint had paid $20 billion to be the exclusive distributor of what turned out to be the non-existent iPhone 5. The reports turned out to be wrong, of course, but even while sharing a market with AT&T and Verizon, Sprint still figures to see as many as 2 million of its customers upgrade to the iPhone 4S.

The company is offering three unlimited data plans to its new iPhone customers: One includes 450 minutes of phone talk time, at $80 a month. The second offers 900 minutes, at $90 a month. And the top-tier “Simply Everything” plan offers unlimited calling and unlimited data for $110 a month.

The company said on its website that customers who order Thursday would get their new iPhone 4 on Friday, October 7—the same day Apple’s new iPhone lineup officially hits the market—or on Saturday, October 8.

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