Apple 2.0

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Sprint soars 10.12% on report that it's getting the iPhone

August 23, 2011: 5:26 PM ET

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple will add a third U.S. carrier in mid-October

"Sprint Nextel Corp. will begin selling the iPhone 5 in mid-October, people familiar with the matter said, closing a huge hole in the No. 3 U.S. carrier's lineup and giving Apple Inc. another channel for selling its popular phone."

So begins the report in the Wall Street Journal -- Apple's (AAPL) current favorite backchannel outlet for releasing unofficial product news -- that sparked a rally in Sprint's (S) beleaguered shares. The stock soared $0.33 (10.12%) to close Tuesday at $3.59.

Apple also closed higher -- up $17.16 (4.81%) to $373.60 -- in a broad rally that pushed the Dow up nearly 3%.

According to the Journal, Sprint will sell both the forthcoming iPhone 5 and the existing iPhone 4 when the new device launches in mid-October.

The iPhone's total available market in the U.S. will be nearly 300 million when Sprint's 52 million subscribers are added to Verizon's (VZ) 106 million and AT&T's (T) 99 million.

Neither Sprint nor Apple could be reached for comment.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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