NEW YORK (
shares surged Tuesday on speculation that the No. 3 telco will be selling the
iPhone this fall.
The stock closed up 10% Tuesday as investors cheered a report that Sprint would have the iPhone sometime in October, according to the
Wall Street Journal
, which cited two people.
The news comes as Apple is expected to be preparing two iPhone models for the holidays. The first is the iPhone 5 world phone; the second is a
that could be sold by telcos as a giveaway in exchange for a two-year contract.
Sprint has struggled with customer defections for the past three years as users fled to other carriers. Part of the exodus was the draw of the iPhone at
. Sprint has about 50 million subscribers, which is nearly half the size of No. 1 player Verizon.
For Apple, Sprint would be yet another outlet for the popular phone. If there is a cheaper version of the iPhone, Sprint's
unit could end up with a hot seller for the Christmas season.
After closing regular trading up 10% at $3.59 Tuesday, Sprint was up another 1% in the after-hours session.
--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.To contact this writer, click here: Scott Moritz, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow Scott on Twitter at MoritzDispatch