Here's an interesting tidbit from Sprint's lawsuit against the AT&T / T-Mobile merger: in a section arguing that AT&T and Verizon are able to gain competitive advantages against smaller carriers because of their size, Sprint says Apple "gave Verizon a time-to-market advantage for the iPhone," and that "Sprint has had to compete without access to the iPhone for nearly five years." That's extremely intriguing wording, considering the drumbeat of rumors surrounding an upcoming Sprint iPhone; Verizon obviously got the iPhone years after AT&T, and any "time-to-market advantage" would only be an actual advantage if other carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile were set to get the device later on.

Now, this obviously doesn't confirm anything, and we wouldn't mention it if the whispers of a Sprint iPhone hadn't already grown to a roar. But it's definitely notable given the timing -- we wouldn't be surprised if Sprint was leaving itself a way to make this argument even as it competes head-to-head against AT&T and Verizon with an iPhone of its very own in the near future. We'll see.