Apple's offerings next summer will include a Verizon-only iPhone compatible with the carrier's CDMA network technology. Dual-mode chips, announced this week by Qualcomm, might not be ready for prime time in 2010. Neither will LTE network technology, which is expected to enter widespread service in 2011.
This leaves Apple with only one option to expand to the largest US carrier after their exclusive contract with AT&T ends next year. Build a Verizon Wireless compatible iPhone.
Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Northeast Securities, reported to AppleInsider that sources within Apple and Verizon intend to release the new iPhone by early fall at the latest. According to his Qualcomm sources, this time frame makes it nearly impossible to complete all of the testing that would be necessary on a hybrid CDMA/GSM device using Qualcomm's new chip.
Using a new chip in the iPhone would also increase costs, going against the trend toward lower pricing of the iPhone to increase market share.In a conflicting report, OTR Global cited Taiwanese sources indicating that Apple was indeed planning to use a hybrid Qualcomm chip in a "worldmode" iPhone compatible with several different network technologies.
Regardless of how Apple proceeds, it's clear they intend to make the iPhone available on Verizon's network as soon as possible.
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Qualcomm has announced they intend to launch the advanced MDM9200 and MDM9600 chipsets in the second half of 2010. From the press release:
- Commercial launches of data-centric devices based on Qualcomm's MDM solutions are expected to begin during the second half of 2010.
- The MDM9200 and the MDM9600 chipsets are the industry's first multi-mode 3G/LTE solutions that allow UMTS and CDMA2000 operators to upgrade seamlessly to future LTE services while preserving backward compatibility to their existing 3G networks.
- MDM9200 supports UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE, while the MDM9600 supports CDMA2000 1X, EV-DO Rev. B, SV-DO, SV-LTE, UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE.