NEW YORK, (

TheStreet

) -

Sprint

(S) - Get Report

shares surged higher Monday after the

HTC

EVO phone debuted to strong demand

.

Sprint HTC EVO

Though the company provided no numbers, Sprint says it sold three times more

HTC EVO 4G

phones on the first day than three days of

Palm

(PALM)

Pre and

Samsung

Instinct phones combined on their debuts.

Sprint could use a blockbuster hit to help thwart continued subscriber defections to

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

for the iPhone or to

TheStreet Recommends

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

for

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

BlackBerries and

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

Android phones.

The HTC EVO is billed as the first 4G phone, which operates on a limited WiMax network and a national 3G system. Gadget fans are attracted to the HTC EVO's impressive features including the 4.3-inch touchscreen, a fast 1-gigahertz

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

Snapdragon processor and an 8-megapixel camera.

More on Sprint Jim Cramer: Thoughts on Sprint

News of Sprint's smashing EVO success comes just hours before

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

gets set to unveil its redesigned iPhone at its Worldwide Developers conference in San Francisco.

(Tune into

TheStreet

later today for live coverage of the Apple event.)

Sprint shares rose 3% to $4.92 early Monday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.