Analyst: Apple Could Bring iPhone to Sprint

Apple Inc. could bring its category-defining iPhone to Sprint later this year, according to Citadel Securities analyst Shing Yin. The analyst said that doing so would allow Apple broader access to price-conscious smartphone consumers because Sprint’s data plans are less expensive than AT&T’s and Verizon’s.

“[An iPhone on Sprint] could offer an attractive proposition for more price-conscious users (a demographic that we think is increasingly important to Apple following the rise of Android),” the analyst said, adding that it, “could be a relatively stronger seller than the Verizon iPhone.”

The research note obtained by Wired wasn’t based on leaked information or sources in Apple’s supply chain, but rather analysis of broad industry trends.

“The main thing for Apple is increased distribution, which is more important now than when the iPhone was first released,” Ying Shin told Wired.

Apple is also rumored to have inked a deal with the world’s largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, and it’s expected that the next version of the iPhone, which may be announced in September, will work on that carrier’s network. Apple could introduce a Sprint-capable version at the same time.

Shares of Sprint rose Wednesday to end the day at US$5.51, up $0.120 (+2.23%), on heavy volume of 59.2 million shares trading hands.

Apple’s stock also closed higher, ending the day at $351.76, up $2.33 (+0.67%), on moderate volume of 15.9 million shares.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.  He also holds a slightly larger, but still insignificant stake in Sprint (S).