Newbie here so excuse lack of details.. Just wanted to share my thoughts on why it makes sense for Apple to buy a carrier such as Sprint.
As we can see from the evolution of internet, the last mile has been the most critical part. AOL did that in early days of Dial Up connections and now cable operators such as Comcast & Time Warner are controlling the access to the last mile.
However, with the explosion of handheld devices, the last mile into a household has now changed to last mile connection to an individual. The major carriers are well placed for the pole position for such an access but with slower adoption to 4G, limited coverage and short term profit necessities; this is still far away from being a reality.
Nevertheless it is important for company like Apple, with its leadership position in handheld, to get unhindered access to the last mile, possibly thru acquiring a carrier such as Sprint. This will fit well with Apples penchant for controlling the complete ecosystem.
Sprint will benefit with early (& cheaper) access to Apples devices, investments in upgrading its networks. In turn Apple will be able to offer value added network services which will be locked in with its devices.
PS: Comcast's latest move to open up its hotspots for all its cable customers clearly show its intent to expand its reach beyond households to individuals.