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Apple field testing iPhone 4 revision, may add CDMA - rumor

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Apple has begun field testing a new version of the iPhone, prompting continued speculation of an early 2011 launch of a CDMA-compatible iPhone, according to an unconfirmed report.

Citing a "solid Apple source," Boy Genius Report claimed Monday that iPhone model 3,2 has reached the field test phase, while the next-generation "iPhone 5" has advanced to the Engineering Verification Test stage of the development cycle.

"We have been told that iPhone model 3,2 what everyone is assuming to be the Verizon (or at least CDMA-compatible) phone just hit the AP testing stage. This is the very last stage before retail release; final hardware, almost final software," the report noted.

Since Apple uses the first number in these device identifiers to refer to major revisions and the second number to refer to minor revisions, iPhone model 3,2 should be an updated iPhone 4 rather than a next-generation model. The report speculates that the 3,2 revision could also include a fix for the widely publicized iPhone 4 antenna issue.

BGR's source asserts that iPhone version 3,2 will contain a SIM card slot, which is generally used only by GSM devices. However, earlier this month, rumors surrounding a Verizon CDMA iPhone implied that Qualcomm could provide Apple with a dual-mode baseband chip that would support both GSM and CDMA networks. In the U.S., AT&T and T-Mobile run GSM networks, while Verizon and Sprint use the CDMA standard. China Telecom is also reportedly in talks with Apple over a CDMA iPhone.

With the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times both reporting in early October that a Verizon iPhone is in the works for next year, the much-talked-about rumors of Apple going multi-carrier in the U.S. have gained momentum.

Although Boy Genius Report has a respectable track record with regard to Apple and AT&T announcements, it has missed the mark on several other Apple predictions from "reliable sources." Last year, the website reported that Blu-ray support was coming to iTunes 9.

In early July, BGR published a series of emails allegedly written between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a disgruntled customer. The report was picked up by several blogs, before an Apple spokesperson "emphatically denied" that Jobs was the author of any of the statements.
post #2 of 28
When Steve Jobs announces it, then I can rejoice, until then, nope.
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post #3 of 28
Nah, this is the iPhone 4 for the T-Mobile USA network with support for the AWS 3G band.
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Nah, this is the iPhone 4 for the T-Mobile USA network with support for the AWS 3G band.

If that were the case then why not have made one of the 5 UMTS bands on the iPhone 4 for T-Mobile USA instead of adding a still unused band for NTT DoCoMo?
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post #5 of 28
Off to the local bars in Cali!
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Off to the local bars in Cali!

I'll search in Los Angeles!
post #7 of 28
Your my next smartphone purchase, and I'll keep my 3GS as a back up with the lastest OS.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If that were the case then why not have made one of the 5 UMTS bands on the iPhone 4 for T-Mobile USA instead of adding a still unused band for NTT DoCoMo?

I wasn't aware that the current iPhone 4 had an NTT DoCoMo-compatible UTMS/HSPA band. Frankly, I'm rather surprised to hear that NTT DoCoMo supports UTMS.

If what you say is true, maybe Apple was hoping to get NTT DoCoMo to sign on. Or maybe because the existing component already had that band.

DoCoMo's subscriber band is much larger than T-Mobile USA's. While America's population is larger than Japan's (let's say 310 million vs. 127 million), NTT DoCoMo is by far the dominant mobile operator in Japan. From a fiscal standpoint for potential customers, catering to NTT DoCoMo is a far better ploy than aiming at T-Mobile USA.
post #9 of 28
I think you folks are confused. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 have to be running CDMA already, as that's what we have here in Japan. CDMA is a 3G standard.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

I think you folks are confused. The iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 have to be running CDMA already, as that's what we have here in Japan. CDMA is a 3G standard.

II've poked around a bit and it appears that W-CDMA in Japan (related to UTMS) is not the same as CDMA here in the United States. The acronyms are confusingly similar but the technology is different enough where they are incompatible.

That's why Verizon and Sprint handsets are useless in Japan (and most other places on this planet).
post #11 of 28
They should do this. I mean, I'm no MBA or anything, but hey...
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

II've poked around a bit and it appears that W-CDMA in Japan (related to UTMS) is not the same as CDMA here in the United States. The acronyms are confusingly similar but the technology is different enough where they are incompatible.

That's why Verizon and Sprint handsets are useless in Japan (and most other places on this planet).

Yes thats why I cant wait there needs to be a 1 standard instead of people who keep crying over CDMA "thats whats wrong with the U.S. now too broken up talking about options....options are fine as long as everyone can get on one accord...I got to Manila and threw my Verizon phone in the trash because it was useless just as it is in most of the world..."unless of course you never travel in that case you'll be fine"....for now
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Off to the local bars in Cali!

I think this has now become a viable launch promotional strategy.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Nah, this is the iPhone 4 for the T-Mobile USA network with support for the AWS 3G band.

Your are probably right if there is a sim tray. Remember since early this year we have seen identifiers 3,1/ 3,2 / 3,3. I have long asserted the other two versions are GSM 1700 and CDMA.

I couldn't imagine that when AT&T exclusivity ends this year that T-Mobile doesn't pick it up. I heard from reputable person @ AT&T that the T-Mobile deal was done last year, but Apple desired to maintain exclusivity until agreement with Verizon at others could be made, added several carriers at once. T-Mobile and Apple already have a relationship abroad.

I would also think that the CDMA version should be in field test as well. Been hearing all year it was scheduled for Nov/Dec production. Maybe it's 3,3? Keeping GSM models for the first two (3,1 & 3,2) instead of CDMA in the middle, just seems more organized identification method.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sincere View Post

Yes thats why I cant wait there needs to be a 1 standard instead of people who keep crying over CDMA "thats whats wrong with the U.S. now too broken up talking about options....options are fine as long as everyone can get on one accord...I got to Manila and threw my Verizon phone in the trash because it was useless just as it is in most of the world..."unless of course you never travel in that case you'll be fine"....for now

Actually of you want to be picky, HSPA is CDMA, its just the WCDMA variant. Verizon and Sprint use narrow band CDMA, both technologies were competing, with Qualcomm owning most of the patents on the narrowband CDMA. GSMA chose WCDMA as its 3G standard, while Verizon and Sprint went the heavily Qualcomm backed 1xEVDO route.

The single standard will be LTE, which ATT and Verizon are deploying. Too bad the US still has the frequency's messed up compared to the rest of the world, no one is using 700 Mhz except the Americas...
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Core2 View Post

...HSPA is CDMA...

No, its not.
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post #17 of 28
T-Mobile USA gets in on the action I'll be a happy iPhone buyer soon I hope!
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Core2 View Post

Actually of you want to be picky, HSPA is CDMA, its just the WCDMA variant. Verizon and Sprint use narrow band CDMA, both technologies were competing, with Qualcomm owning most of the patents on the narrowband CDMA. GSMA chose WCDMA as its 3G standard, while Verizon and Sprint went the heavily Qualcomm backed 1xEVDO route.

The single standard will be LTE, which ATT and Verizon are deploying. Too bad the US still has the frequency's messed up compared to the rest of the world, no one is using 700 Mhz except the Americas...

European networks are set up differently then networks in the US. 700Mhz is a much stronger and more reliable signal. Cell networks are more condensed (more towers, less range) in Europe. LTE devices that come out will work the same as devices do now...on multiple frequencies. But believe me...when push comes to shove...you want 700Mhz over whatever else is out there, you will get much longer range, and much better wall penetration. So yeah...
post #19 of 28
CDMA, as implemented in Japan and Korea use SIM cards, so the presence of a SIM card does not positively identify the network type or types that this version of the iPhone is compatible with. It does not prove GSM compatibility either. It only proves that there is a SIM slot, which might, for all we know, be empty. It's certainly possible that the slot is being retained in these prototypes so as to avoid tipping any observers off.
post #20 of 28
A revision in white, right?

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post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by longpath View Post

CDMA, as implemented in Japan and Korea use SIM cards, so the presence of a SIM card does not positively identify the network type or types that this version of the iPhone is compatible with. It does not prove GSM compatibility either. It only proves that there is a SIM slot, which might, for all we know, be empty. It's certainly possible that the slot is being retained in these prototypes so as to avoid tipping any observers off.

No, you're confusing network technology acronyms, which is totally understandable.

What Japan and Korea are using is W-CDMA (the W is for "wideband") and is more commonly known as UTMS in other markets. The CDMA that Verizon and Sprint is narrowband.

Despite the similarity in acronyms, the two technologies are not compatible, hence the push to a 4G standard like LTE. The data portion of LTE is mostly complete, but the voice part of LTE is not. Based on Apple's history, they will not jump onto the LTE bandwagon. They will wait for the technology to mature (just as they released a 2.5G/EDGE iPhone while 3G was being deployed).

The next logical step would be HSPA+ in the iPhone 5 (mid 2011). An LTE-compatible iPhone would not come earlier than 2012, possibly even later (2013 or 2014).

Verizon's push to deploy LTE is encouraging, but many international markets are focused on upgrading to HSPA+. LTE will not be a major factor overseas for some time and I doubt Apple will include network technology that can only be utilized by a fraction of its iPhone customers (domestic and international).
post #22 of 28
According to the CDMA development group there are about 557 million CDMA devices in the world. While we're all focused on the huge opportunity that is China, India is also a country of 1 Billion in population and roughly 20% of all phones are CDMA. India has not been a strong market for Apple. So a CDMA phone may well be interesting for other reasons than Verizon and Verizon may or may not be the reason why Apple might be pursuing a CDMA phone. Verizon may simply be a consequence rather than a cause.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Day Breakfast View Post

According to the CDMA development group there are about 557 million CDMA devices in the world. While we're all focused on the huge opportunity that is China, India is also a country of 1 Billion in population and roughly 20% of all phones are CDMA. India has not been a strong market for Apple. So a CDMA phone may well be interesting for other reasons than Verizon and Verizon may or may not be the reason why Apple might be pursuing a CDMA phone. Verizon may simply be a consequence rather than a cause.

When looking at CDMA 2G numbers it might behoove you to remove the sub numbers that use UMTS for 3G.

For example, S. Korea has had the iPhone for the year now and it runs on their UMTS 3G while stilling have a CDMA 2G backend that is going unused by the iPhone yet still be counted in the numbers you posted. This will become more and more common as 3G and eventually 4G technologies take hold.

For that reason, Id focus on the sub numbers that are using EV-DO enable phones as that more closely represents the real market for a CDMA/EV-DO iPhone.
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post

Your are probably right if there is a sim tray. Remember since early this year we have seen identifiers 3,1/ 3,2 / 3,3. I have long asserted the other two versions are GSM 1700 and CDMA.

I couldn't imagine that when AT&T exclusivity ends this year that T-Mobile doesn't pick it up. I heard from reputable person @ AT&T that the T-Mobile deal was done last year, but Apple desired to maintain exclusivity until agreement with Verizon at others could be made, added several carriers at once. T-Mobile and Apple already have a relationship abroad.

I would also think that the CDMA version should be in field test as well. Been hearing all year it was scheduled for Nov/Dec production. Maybe it's 3,3? Keeping GSM models for the first two (3,1 & 3,2) instead of CDMA in the middle, just seems more organized identification method.

Are you 'the' Turley Muller, the financial analyst?

If so how would you factor a CMDA iPhone into your Apple iPhone sales forecasts? Surely you've given it some thought.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Are you 'the' Turley Muller, the financial analyst?

If so how would you factor a CMDA iPhone into your Apple iPhone sales forecasts? Surely you've given it some thought.

Yes, this is he.

For iPhone at Verizon, it could be huge. I estimate iPhone penetration is 20-25% of AT&T postpaid sub base, and while VZ only has less than 2M more wireless subs than AT&T, it has 15M more postpaid subs. In addition, it also appears VZ PP subscribers are of a little higher quality in terms of disposable income, overall. Several surveys revealed nearly 20% of VZ customers were very likely to buy and iPhone, while 50% said they were somewhat likely. It's possible VZ could add 3M in unit sales per quarter. T-Mobile & Sprint could supply 1M per quarter each. I total, carrier expansion in US could add 5M per quarter to AT&T's current run-rate of 3M+. (AT&T should give iPhone activations Thursday which could top 4M). For every 1M incremental units, EPS increases 20-25 cents.

Besides the US, Japan is the most significant multi-carrier opportunity. Softbank has only 20% of the market, yet iPhone has 15% or more of Softbank subscriber base. Opening up to the #1 & # 2 carriers increases addressable market from roughly 20M to nearly 100M. I think one of the other carriers may be on CDMA and the other on GSM, yet it's a funky W-CDMA standard. I need to research that more.

Behind Japan, there is Korea and China. China's largest carrier (China Mobile) uses TD-SCDMA and China Telecom is on CDMA/EVDO.

So maybe we could see couple more international carriers picked up that are on CDMA and perhaps a couple on GSM 1700. If any of the carriers with non-traditional networks get the iPhone, it won't be until at least IP5, or perhaps later on LTE.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post

Behind Japan, there is Korea and China. China's largest carrier (China Mobile) uses TD-SCDMA and China Telecom is on CDMA/EVDO.

I see no reason why a CDMA/EV-DO iPhone would even need to go to S. Korea when KT and SK Telecom use UMTS for 3G. Only LG is stuck with CDMA2000 for 3G and they have a paltry 7M total subs last time I checked.

Indonesia has more viable CDMA/EV-DO customers, and lets not forget India with their quarter million subs on that network type.
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post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I see no reason why a CDMA/EV-DO iPhone would even need to go to S. Korea when KT and SK Telecom use UMTS for 3G. Only LG is stuck with CDMA2000 for 3G and they have a paltry 7M total subs last time I checked.

Indonesia has more viable CDMA/EV-DO customers, and lets not forget India with their quarter million subs on that network type.

I agree. Korea doesn't need a CDMA model, I didn't mean to suggest that it did. Rather, Korea needs SK Telecom since iPhone has done so well at KT.

Indonesia would be a good add. India has tons of mobile subs too, however very few with much income. I think India will become much more important in a few years, GDP and incomes are rising extremely fast.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post

Yes, this is he.

For iPhone at Verizon, it could be huge. I estimate iPhone penetration is 20-25% of AT&T postpaid sub base, and while VZ only has less than 2M more wireless subs than AT&T, it has 15M more postpaid subs. In addition, it also appears VZ PP subscribers are of a little higher quality in terms of disposable income, overall. Several surveys revealed nearly 20% of VZ customers were very likely to buy and iPhone, while 50% said they were somewhat likely. It's possible VZ could add 3M in unit sales per quarter. T-Mobile & Sprint could supply 1M per quarter each. I total, carrier expansion in US could add 5M per quarter to AT&T's current run-rate of 3M+. (AT&T should give iPhone activations Thursday which could top 4M). For every 1M incremental units, EPS increases 20-25 cents.

Besides the US, Japan is the most significant multi-carrier opportunity. Softbank has only 20% of the market, yet iPhone has 15% or more of Softbank subscriber base. Opening up to the #1 & # 2 carriers increases addressable market from roughly 20M to nearly 100M. I think one of the other carriers may be on CDMA and the other on GSM, yet it's a funky W-CDMA standard. I need to research that more.

Behind Japan, there is Korea and China. China's largest carrier (China Mobile) uses TD-SCDMA and China Telecom is on CDMA/EVDO.

So maybe we could see couple more international carriers picked up that are on CDMA and perhaps a couple on GSM 1700. If any of the carriers with non-traditional networks get the iPhone, it won't be until at least IP5, or perhaps later on LTE.

Thanks for the reply and thoughtful analysis.

As an Apple investor its starting to piss me off that they're dragging their feet getting the iPhone on the other US carriers. They're leaving a lot of money on the table.
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