Citing Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, Moritz writes that Qualcomm will provide a 3G EV-DO chip for a CDMA based iPhone that’s expected to launch later this year. The current iPhones are GSM only and are therefore unable to run on Verizon’s popular and relatively robust CDMA network.
It was initially reported that Apple was keen on launching a “worldmode phone” capable of running on both GSM and CDMA networks, thanks to a hybrid CDMA/UMTS chip Qualcomm had in the works. Kumar, though, writes that Apple wasn’t impressed with the dual chip (no explanation is given) and chose to go the CDMA route instead. As for the GSM iPhone, it remains unclear if Apple will continue to use an Infineon chipset or go with Qualcomm for that as well.
Apple’s exclusive deal with AT&T is rumored to end in late June, and opening up the iPhone to run on Verizon’s network seems like a no-brainer.
For starters, some customers are simply unwilling to switch carriers and if Apple truly wants to grow the iPhone here in the US, it needs to widen the scope of potential customers. Second, with competition from Android continuing to build, Apple can’t afford to sit around and wait until the iPhone is legitimately threatened. On the contrary, it’s best chance to combat new phones like the Nexus One (aside from the inherent quality of the phone itself) is to get the iPhone out in front of as many customer and on as many carriers as possible. And lastly, the extensive and seemingly unending list of complaints regarding AT&T’s inability to keep up with data hungry iPhone users is well established, and it would only help to spread some of that bandwidth around to another carrier (that is assuming, of course, that a significant number of AT&T users would migrate over to Verizon.)