The market is generally ranting about what Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) didn't say yesterday.

  • There won't be near-field communication chips like we're seeing in some of the new Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android phones for mobile payment support.
  • Apple claims the iPhone 4S is fast, but it's not 4G LTE.
  • The rumored redesign with its larger touchscreen failed to materialize.

However, let's also be grateful for what the country's most valuable tech company didn't say. Barreling toward yesterday's "Let's Talk iPhone" event, the big rumor making the rounds was that Apple would be giving Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) iPhone 5 exclusivity. In exchange for agreeing to buy 30 million iPhones over the next four years, Sprint would supposedly be the only wireless carrier offering the iPhone 5 until early next year.

Thank goodness that didn't happen!

Would it have been a boost to Apple's bottom line? Sure. Would Sprint have become a legitimate contender to larger rivals AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ)? Absolutely.

However, Apple also would have killed its reputation. Offering a superior iPhone to a new carrier would have destroyed the loyalty of the early adopters of the iPhone through AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

The rumor seems as silly in retrospect as it was shocking at first, but it spread because everyone knew Sprint was going to be the phone's third domestic carrier. Why not make a big splash? Surely there was a number where it would be too tempting to pass up on Apple's part yet not stifling enough to put Sprint out of business.

In the end, reality did the right thing.

As disappointed as the market may have been with the lack of an iPhone 5 announcement, the real dagger would have been an iPhone announcement with just one available carrier.

Apple's been there and done that. It's going for the mainstream market now.

If you want to see how the iPhone disrupts the industry, follow the relevant companies by adding Google and Apple to My Watchlist.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.