Sales at the Carphone Warehouse retail chain have been buoyed by sales of the iPhone as well as rumours of a takeover bid.

The company's shares were up 5.7% at 351p this morning.

While traders have suggested that Christmas sales of the iPhone are behind the share price increase, analysts are pointing to past rumours that the company could be bought out by Best Buy of the US.

Best Buy already has a small stake in Carphone Warehouse and a joint US venture with it.

Some analysts have stated that Best Buy is currently concentrating on expanding into emerging markets but Mirabaud Securities analyst Steve Clayton told The Times that a Best Buy bid could not be ruled out pointing out that it has a market cap of £10 billion and spare cash.

He told the newspaper: "A cash deal would be both enhancing straight off and lead to an acceleration in the medium term growth rate for Best Buy whilst also giving it entry into a number of European markets in an above average growth product category".

Vodafone was the other rumoured interested party but analysts believe this unlikely since the retailer’s business model is to be independent of individual mobile operators, says The Times.