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Apple's Verizon iPhone 4 has improved antenna, integrated GPS

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
A closer look inside the new CDMA iPhone 4 for the Verizon network in the U.S. has revealed a new antenna design said to allow improved reception, as well as a different, integrated GPS chip.

iSuppli this week posted "early results" of its teardown of Apple's new CDMA iPhone 4. The market research company found that while Apple retained the fundamental integrated antenna and enclosure design for the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4, the new CDMA version "employs a dual-antenna design that takes advantage of antenna diversity to improve reception."

When the GSM iPhone 4 shipped on rival carrier AT&T's network last summer, users found that covering the bottom left corner of the handset could result in some signal loss. The issue gained a considerable amount of media attention, most of which died down after Apple gave away free cases to phone buyers for a limited time.

Still, the issue prompted multiple competitors, including Verizon, to poke fun at the controversy. Verizon mocked the iPhone 4 antenna issue with a full-page ad in The New York Times last July to promote its Droid X handset, noting that the phone had a "double antenna design" that "allows you to hold the phone any way you like."

iSuppli's teardown also discovered that Apple has eliminated the use of a discrete GPS chip, which was previously supplied by Broadcom. Instead, the new CDMA iPhone 4 utilizes the integrated GPS functionality found on the Qualcomm MDM6600 baseband.



The use of the "world mode" baseband from Qualcomm was first revealed on Tuesday through a separate teardown by solutions provider iFixit. iSuppli noted that the MDM chipset is a "slim modem" platform like the UMTS/GSM chipset found in the AT&T-compatible iPhone 4.

"MDM chipsets are typically sold to manufacturers of embedded wireless modules or dongles," they said. "The MDM chipset from Qualcomm is essentially an entry-level chip and provides savings for Apple both in terms of device complexity and in the cost of manufacturing."
post #2 of 50
Hmmmm... and I was told about a month ago by some know-it-all on here that there would be no way that Apple would change the antenna design for the Verizon phone.

I guess this settles that question...
Hmmmmmm...
Reply
Hmmmmmm...
Reply
post #3 of 50
Well of course they changed the antenna. CDMA requires different tuning. The real test of if they redesigned the antenna is when the next model comes out and the GSM version looks just like the CDMA version, provided they keep the exact same external design.
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Hmmmm... and I was told about a month ago by some know-it-all on here that there would be no way that Apple would change the antenna design for the Verizon phone.

Don't CDMA and 3G use different parts of the spectrum? I sounds like a big call to say the antenna wouldn't change for CDMA as the change may have been required, not optional.

They should have said the CDMA antenna wouldn't change due to issue with the 3G antenna. They maybe could have argued that point.
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

... They should have said the CDMA antenna wouldn't change due to non-issue with the 3G antenna. ...

There, I fixed it for you.
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Hmmmm... and I was told about a month ago by some know-it-all on here that there would be no way that Apple would change the antenna design for the Verizon phone.

I guess this settles that question...

What a silly thing to say. Of course the antenna would be changed. Were talking about very different wireless technologies and the need for dual cellular antennas for Verizon. How could they possibly not change it? Even if you consider each iPhone the antenna has changed in some way. Why would anything thinks there would not be any change to a product with each new release.
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Well of course they changed the antenna. CDMA requires different tuning. The real test of if they redesigned the antenna is when the next model comes out and the GSM version looks just like the CDMA version, provided they keep the exact same external design.

Lets hope that is not the 'case'.

CDMA2000 requires two frequencies whereas GSM uses three. Antenna design is directly related to the frequencies utilized and since they are different for the AT&T and Verizon systems I see no possible way they could keep the Verizon antenna design for AT&T and continue to get reception that is - I know there are places where people have reception issues with AT&T already - that is not what I am talking about here (sorry to step on potential cute comments folks).

Disclaimer: Just cause I see no way to do it doesn't mean it cannot be done. That being said this would truly be a cool trick if they could make one design work for both.
post #8 of 50
Well, I guess congratulations are in order.

Ireland nailed this one months ago.
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Lets hope that is not the 'case'.

CDMA2000 requires two frequencies whereas GSM uses three. Antenna design is directly related to the frequencies utilized and since they are different for the AT&T and Verizon systems I see no possible way they could keep the Verizon antenna design for AT&T and continue to get reception that is - I know there are places where people have reception issues with AT&T already - that is not what I am talking about here (sorry to step on potential cute comments folks).

Disclaimer: Just cause I see no way to do it doesn't mean it cannot be done. That being said this would truly be a cool trick if they could make one design work for both.

Maybe they can product an antenna that's broken into many sections, and can be dynamically connected together to arrive at the desired length. If software detect the signal strength is poor, then starts varying length of antenna until stronger signal is detected. Should solve the detune, attunation thing if this if physically possible.
post #10 of 50
So the original design was flawed after all.
Great cover up Apple/ way to go Ireland- thank you.

Thank yous are always welcome to all that have been proven correct after being attacked and labeled trolls.
post #11 of 50
sounds good. Let me know when the Macbook Air will have 3g/4g capability.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Don't CDMA and 3G use different parts of the spectrum? I sounds like a big call to say the antenna wouldn't change for CDMA as the change may have been required, not optional.

They should have said the CDMA antenna wouldn't change due to issue with the 3G antenna. They maybe could have argued that point.

No. The carriers purchase the spectrum the government sets asside for cellular use and then choose which technology to use in the bands they own. AT&T and Verizon both own significants chunks of the 850 mhz band and they both own higher frequency 1900 mhz bands as well. There is no technical difference in the frequencies to require a different antenna, the difference is in the way the spectrum is used.
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Well of course they changed the antenna. CDMA requires different tuning. The real test of if they redesigned the antenna is when the next model comes out and the GSM version looks just like the CDMA version, provided they keep the exact same external design.

You mean- will the white iPhone magically get the new antenna?
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

You mean- will the white iPhone magically get the new antenna?

Well yeah that could be proof. Compare the GSM version to the CDMA white one, if they make a white CDMA model.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

iSuppli's teardown also discovered that Apple has eliminated the use of a discrete GPS chip, which was previously supplied by Broadcom. Instead, the new CDMA iPhone 4 utilizes the integrated GPS functionality found on the Qualcomm MDM6600 baseband.

Well anyone wanting GPS in the wifi only iPad2 can pretty much say goodbye to that desire.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Hmmmm... and I was told about a month ago by some know-it-all on here that there would be no way that Apple would change the antenna design for the Verizon phone.

I guess this settles that question...

How could they not? I don't think the same design would work but I could be wrong. I'd like to now if they have included a multiple system allowing this to be a world phone or just limited it to the CDMA for now despite the potential of the chip.
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post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

Well anyone wanting GPS in the wifi only iPad2 can pretty much say goodbye to that desire.

Do we know the discrete chip is also absent from the iPad 2 or just the Verizon iPhone?
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post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Well, I guess congratulations are in order.

Ireland nailed this one months ago.

When was this? He was the one that kept saying it was a design flaw. That there woul w a massive recall. Then he said it would be change after they stopped the Bumper giveaway or tubelike offer free bumpers forever. None of that happened.

As many intelligent people on this board tried pointing out, apparently upon deaf ears, Apple changed the antenna design with each iPhone and that a CDMA phone needs an inherently different antenna design than GSM.

So what exactly did Ireland not get completely wrong or make so general that it was guarantee to occur?
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

No. The carriers purchase the spectrum the government sets asside for cellular use and then choose which technology to use in the bands they own. AT&T and Verizon both own significants chunks of the 850 mhz band and they both own higher frequency 1900 mhz bands as well. There is no technical difference in the frequencies to require a different antenna, the difference is in the way the spectrum is used.

Hmmm. It must depend on where you are in the world. I'm pretty sure the carriers in my country use different frequencies for CDMA and 3G. There are a few different ones for 3G and I think CDMA is all on the one frequency here.

The iPhone site lists 800 and 1900 MHz for CDMA and a bunch for 3G. 800MHz is the only CDMA one not listed under 3G as well.

Maybe they can get better CDMA reception if they tweak the antenna for two frequencies (800/1900MHz) rather than 6 (800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 MHz)

Confusing stuff







Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

There, I fixed it for you.

*face palm*
post #20 of 50
WHAT are the four different sections? Can somebody eg. DED put up a diagram depicting which section does what?
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

Well anyone wanting GPS in the wifi only iPad2 can pretty much say goodbye to that desire.

Well, Apple may still do it... Looks unlikely though.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

WHAT are the four different sections? Can somebody eg. DED put up a diagram depicting which section does what?

From Wikipedia.

The GSM iPhone has two antenna slits, one at the lower left and one at the top that divide the band into two antenna sections.

The left section of the band serves as the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS antenna, and the right and lower sections of the band act as the antenna for GSM and UMTS connectivity.

The CDMA iPhone has four antenna slits. Two at the top (on the left and right) and two at the bottom that divide the metal band into four different segments.

The top portion of the band (divided by the top left and right slits) is for connecting to the CDMA network. The left portion of the metal band is for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS just like the GSM version. The right side is not an antenna, but serves to cosmetically mirror the left side and also to create a similar look to the GSM version of the phone.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

WHAT are the four different sections? Can somebody eg. DED put up a diagram depicting which section does what?

The two bottom sections are CDMA. One section on top is for WiFi. The other handles the other miscellaneous services (GPS, Bluetooth).

Apple showed of the sectional functionality when they announced the iPhone 4 last year. One of the slides in their presentation clearly showed which services were mapped to which section.
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Lets hope that is not the 'case'.

CDMA2000 requires two frequencies whereas GSM uses three. Antenna design is directly related to the frequencies utilized and since they are different for the AT&T and Verizon systems I see no possible way they could keep the Verizon antenna design for AT&T and continue to get reception that is - I know there are places where people have reception issues with AT&T already - that is not what I am talking about here (sorry to step on potential cute comments folks).

Disclaimer: Just cause I see no way to do it doesn't mean it cannot be done. That being said this would truly be a cool trick if they could make one design work for both.

Antennas are very frequency dependent. Half wave, quarter wave, eighth wave, etc. You can work around that to a certain extent by electronically tuning the antenna, but that only optimizes it by so much. The more bands you must cover, the less efficient it becomes. A world phone is a very difficult thing to do right, and is usually larger, and sucks more from the battery.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

So the original design was flawed after all.
Great cover up Apple/ way to go Ireland- thank you.

Thank yous are always welcome to all that have been proven correct after being attacked and labeled trolls.

What exactly are you talking about?
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Hmmm. It must depend on where you are in the world. I'm pretty sure the carriers in my country use different frequencies for CDMA and 3G. There are a few different ones for 3G and I think CDMA is all on the one frequency here.

The iPhone site lists 800 and 1900 MHz for CDMA and a bunch for 3G. 800MHz is the only CDMA one not listed under 3G as well.

Maybe they can get better CDMA reception if they tweak the antenna for two frequencies (800/1900MHz) rather than 6 (800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 MHz)

Confusing stuff








*face palm*

There is no difference between 800 and 850. It is just a matter of how specific they are with the naming. Verizons 800 is in the 850 sub band.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

So the original design was flawed after all.
Great cover up Apple/ way to go Ireland- thank you.

Thank yous are always welcome to all that have been proven correct after being attacked and labeled trolls.

please tell me you're getting paid to troll, it is way to pathetic otherwise..
post #28 of 50
Hey AI (or whomever is responsible for the chipset photos), can you place a reference object next to these photos? It's hard to tell how big/small they are. Being geeks, it's nice to know such things.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post

please tell me you're getting paid to troll, it is way to pathetic otherwise..

No payments , nothing pathetic. Did you read the title of the thread. Obviously not- AI calls it an "improved antenna". Can't you please write sometghing pertaining to the thread?
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

No payments , nothing pathetic. Did you read the title of the thread. Obviously not- AI calls it an "improved antenna". Can't you please write sometghing pertaining to the thread?

sure, I'll give it another shot.. you're a moron!

now go cry to the mods, again
post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Do we know the discrete chip is also absent from the iPad 2 or just the Verizon iPhone?

Or the iPhone 5 for that matter. Too bad for Broadcom...
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

When was this? He was the one that kept saying it was a design flaw. That there woul w a massive recall. Then he said it would be change after they stopped the Bumper giveaway or tubelike offer free bumpers forever. None of that happened.

As many intelligent people on this board tried pointing out, apparently upon deaf ears, Apple changed the antenna design with each iPhone and that a CDMA phone needs an inherently different antenna design than GSM.

So what exactly did Ireland not get completely wrong or make so general that it was guarantee to occur?

Well excuse the frack outta me!

I was pointing out that Ireland always stated that they would change the antenna design before the next generation and they did. He could care less what the reasons were, and would highly recommend that you tone down your attitude about 60 decibels.

If you knew anything at all about my online relationship with Ireland, you would have known that my post was about as tongue in check as it gets.

It would appear that a sense of humor, as many intelligent people on this board tried pointing out, apparently falls on deaf ears.
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #33 of 50
The antenna redesign was due to Verizon antenna diversity specs. Even with this dual antenna design the Verizon iPhone still suffer from the same signal strength drop as the AT&T iPhone. AnandTech discussed this weeks ago.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Lets hope that is not the 'case'.

CDMA2000 requires two frequencies whereas GSM uses three. Antenna design is directly related to the frequencies utilized and since they are different for the AT&T and Verizon systems I see no possible way they could keep the Verizon antenna design for AT&T and continue to get reception that is - I know there are places where people have reception issues with AT&T already - that is not what I am talking about here (sorry to step on potential cute comments folks).

Disclaimer: Just cause I see no way to do it doesn't mean it cannot be done. That being said this would truly be a cool trick if they could make one design work for both.

Anand at anandtech.com actually has the real reasons for the design: Verizon requires diversity antennas.

While at this time there is no update with real usage, he did the same test for signal attenuation and it still has it, just like the GSM version.

Quote:
As you can see from the pictures below, the good ol' death grip still attenuates signal strength on Verizon. Held normally I was getting a reading of -65 dBm on the Verizon iPhone, but in full on death grip the signal strength dropped to -83 dBm. That's in line with what we've seen on AT&T.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4125/u...4-announcement
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflybob View Post

Well excuse the frack outta me!

I was pointing out that Ireland always stated that they would change the antenna design before the next generation and they did. He could care less what the reasons were, and would highly recommend that you tone down your attitude about 60 decibels.

If you knew anything at all about my online relationship with Ireland, you would have known that my post was about as tongue in check as it gets.

It would appear that a sense of humor, as many intelligent people on this board tried pointing out, apparently falls on deaf ears.

Well, I predict that iPhone 5 will be different from iPhone 4!
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The two bottom sections are CDMA. One section on top is for WiFi. The other handles the other miscellaneous services (GPS, Bluetooth).

Apple showed of the sectional functionality when they announced the iPhone 4 last year. One of the slides in their presentation clearly showed which services were mapped to which section.

What two bottom sections? The CDMA2000 does have 4 antenna segments two "u" shaped at top and bottom and two straight sections - one on each side.

AT&T has 4 frequencies each for UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA and GSM/EDGE. Verizon model has two frequencies for EV-DO Rev A. Both use three frequencies for WiFi, Bluetooth and A-GPS.

See Anadtech or iFixit for various numbers.

IHTH.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, I predict that iPhone 5 will be different from iPhone 4!

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different logic board from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the logic board in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different battery from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the battery in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different baseband processor from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the baseband processor in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different A4 model number from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the A4 in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 doesnt have a SIM card slot that must mean the SIM card in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different logic board from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the logic board in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different battery from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the battery in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different baseband processor from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the baseband processor in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different A4 model number from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the A4 in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 doesnt have a SIM card slot that must mean the SIM card in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

Thank you! Finally somebody who really understands what has been wrong with the iPhone 4 (GSM/UMTS).
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different logic board from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the logic board in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different battery from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the battery in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different baseband processor from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the baseband processor in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 uses a different A4 model number from the GSM iPhone 4 that must mean the A4 in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

The Verizon iPhone 4 doesnt have a SIM card slot that must mean the SIM card in the GSM iPhone 4 is a design flaw.

I've mentioned time and time again ever since trolls/crybabies like iLiver (and whatever aliases he's used) and others with tinfoil hats that Apple was in a catch-22 regardless of what they do.

If they leave the antenna design alone, they will be accused of hiding a flaw.
If they change the antenna design, they will then be accused of admitting a flaw.

There was nothing Apple could do to please these sofa critics. The Verizon iPhone required a different design (AI calls it "improved" for whatever reason) to accommodate the dual-band setup that Verizon's network needs.

Nothing was conclusive. The VZ iPhone also suffers from the same death-grip issues that all cell phones have. So much for your "flawed" design theory kids.

Apple is completely within their right and expectation to always improve a product, because there is always room for improvement. However, in this case you whiners are chasing a ghost.
post #40 of 50
The funny thing about the antenna design of the iPhone 4 is that calling it a non-issue is only half-right. Not only ISN'T it an issue... I've had fewer dropped calls with my iPhone 4 than I've had with any mobile phone I've ever owned. That doesn't mean it can't be improved of course. Even the best can get better. But, no matter what Apple does with future iPhones, there will always be people who define what they like by insulting something else, regardless of whether the insults have any merit. For example, there will always be people who like Android "becuz ifonez suk." And that's just the way it is.

...meanwhile, back in reality-land, iPhones break sales record after sales record. And that's just the way it is.
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