The United States’ 3rd largest wireless carrier held their quarterly earnings call yesterday, and the company posted a net loss of $847 million. In wake of the poor performance, Sprint’s stock dropped nearly 16% by the time the market closed last night.

Although they added a cool million customers last quarter, the company lost 101,000 contacts. What could be causing such a massive leak? Sprint cited Apple’s popular smartphone, especially the $49 iPhone 3GS, as a major factor for the customer deflections…

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Sprint without an iPhone is struggling to keep relevance in light of larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Both companies reportedly sold 2+ million iPhones last quarter, a majority of which were subsidized for long term contracts.

So how will Sprint turn things around next quarter? The carrier is reportedly slated to get a version of Apple’s juggernaut device this Fall. Apple’s next smartphone is expected to be a world-capable device, supporting both GSM and CDMA technologies.

Hopefully, for Sprint’s sake, the iPhone rumors are true. With an impending AT&T/T-Mobile merger, the carrier stands to be the only major wireless provider in the U.S. to not offer the hottest phone on the planet.

It would certainly make things interesting if Sprint landed the device, as the carrier offers some of the lowest-priced wireless plans in the business. Not to mention they still offer unlimited data— an option that has gone extinct with most of the competition.

Would you switch to Sprint if they started carrying the iPhone?