UPDATE 1-Nextel to offer latest iPhones in Brazil
(Adds company response, analysts' comments, details; updates share move)
By Neha Alawadhi
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Nextel mobile phone service, owned by NII Holdings Inc, will offer Apple Inc's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C to its customers in Brazil.
Shares of NII, which will offer an Apple smartphone in Brazil for the first time, jumped as much as 27 percent in morning trading.
The latest iPhones will be offered to customers from Jan. 31, NII said on Friday.
"Having this it in its arsenal will at least allow NII Holdings to be part of the conversation as customers in Brazil are choosing their service," Wells Fargo Securities LLC analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said in a note.
NII is also discussing with Apple to roll out the smartphones in other markets, company spokeswoman Claudia Restrepo told Reuters in an email.
Nextel provides cellphone services primarily to businesses in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
The brand has been facing stiff competition in Brazil from Telefonica Brasil SA and billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil as they lure NII's higher-paying business customers with unlimited call plans and faster and bigger networks.
The company said in December it would cut jobs as part of a restructuring plan aimed at regaining market share.
NII also said on Monday it would provide voice and data coverage in Brazil and Mexico using Telefonica's networks.
The deals with Apple and Telefonica would help drive subscriber growth in 2014, Gabelli & Co analyst Sergey Dluzhevskiy said.
NII shares were up 20 percent at $2.88 on Friday afternoon. (Reporting by Neha Alawadhi in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Joyjeet Das)
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