Report: Apple to launch Verizon iPhone in Q3 2010

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new report citing sources in the Taiwan handset supply chain says Apple has contracted to produce a UMTS/CDMA hybrid iPhone due in the third quarter of next year that will enable the company to sell a single global handset to all carriers, and specifically to Verizon Wireless in the US.



The report by OTR Global, provided to AppleInsider by an industry analyst, says the new "worldmode" iPhone will gain compatibility with CDMA2000 networks (including Verizon's US network, which is currently incompatible with existing iPhone models) while retaining compatibility with UMTS 3G networks globally using a new hybrid chip produced by Qualcomm.



According to OTR's sources, Asustek subsidiary Pegatron will build the new hybrid phone devices for Apple rather than Hon Hai, the iPhone's current manufacturer. This decision was reportedly made to prevent the company from being "constrained by a single-source assembler."



A smaller body



The research note also identified the new phone as having a 2.8" screen, which is significantly smaller than the current iPhone's 3.5" display.



Last summer, component pictures indicating the development of a smaller 2.8" iPhone model appeared on the web next to the standard 3.5" parts currently in production, and a Chinese-language newspaper reported that an upcoming model of the iPhone would be smaller and lighter.



Without any mention of both larger and smaller versions in OTR's report, it appears but has not yet been confirmed that next year's iPhone will scale down in size while also gaining compatibility with all major mobile networks.



View more photos and diagrams of the panels at iLounge



CDMA vs. WCDMA



The American technological rift between CDMA providers (including Sprint and Verizon) and GSM/UMTS providers (T-Moblie and AT&T) was widely expected to remain in place until Verizon moved to LTE, the next generation of UMTS service.



In other countries, CDMA providers have either shut down their networks and moved entirely to UMTS service (as Telstra did in Australia) or added a UMTS overlay to their existing CDMA service (as Bell and Telus just recently did in Canada). In the US, Verizon decided to do neither, and instead will only be investing in a new next generation LTE network that won't be completed for years.



This appeared to leave little opportunity for a Verizon iPhone before 2011, but Qualcomm's "worldmode" hybrid component enables Apple to continue offering a single iPhone version that can be sold by both AT&T and Verizon in the US, and on virtually every carrier outside the US.



UMTS is the 3G service associated with GSM providers, but it uses radio carrier technology (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) similar to but incompatible with Qualcomm's CDMA2000/EVDO used by Verizon. Despite the technical similarities, CDMA2000 and UMTS/WCDMA are competing, non-interoperable 3G technologies. With nearly all mobile carriers having announced plans to shift to UMTS or LTE in the future, CDMA2000 represents a dead end.



It still remains widely deployed in various markets however, including the US, where Verizon's CDMA2000 3G network is widely regarded as having wider reach and providing better data service than AT&T's newer UMTS 3G network. AT&T's 3G service is rated particularly poorly in San Francisco and New York City, where coverage holes have been exacerbated by a huge influx of data-hungry iPhone users. AT&T has yet to introduce its 3G MicroCell to enable users to solve their own dead zones at home or work.



Qualcomm's new hybrid CDMA/WCDMA chip offers the potential for a single, global iPhone that users can take to any major carrier, solving the network fractionalization problem. It also solves other issues that had served as roadblocks, including the issue of user confusion that would result from Apple selling separate CDMA and GSM/UMTS versions of the iPhone.



With one phone that works on both types of networks, any differences between the two (such as in features like conference calling and simultaneous voice and data, unique to UMTS) will be more apparently tied to the provider's network rather than to an iPhone model itself.







Verizon's DROID, cancelation fee launch



Verizon's merciless attacks on AT&T's 3G network coverage in ads spoofing the iPhone's "there's an app for that" slogan were another factor which left some observers to think that Verizon could not possibly be in talks with Apple to sell the iPhone anytime soon, but the OTR report indicates that Verizon and Apple have already hammered out an agreement to sell the new iPhone model within the year.



Verizon recently launched two smartphones aimed squarely at the iPhone: the BlackBerry Storm 2 and Motorola Droid. At the same time, the provider also announced a new cancelation policy that charges users a hefty $350 when they attempt to back out of contracts involving "advanced devices."



Last year, the company found little lasting enthusiasm from users who assumed that the original Storm would be closer to the iPhone in terms of features; whether the new fee is an attempt to penalize unsatisfied users or to profit from switchers next year, it may result in users rethinking their purchases right now.



With reports breaking the news that Verizon will be selling the iPhone within the year, sales of the Storm 2, Droid, and next year's Palm Pre may end up repressed if customers decide they'd rather wait for the iPhone to arrive instead of facing the prospect of a major cancelation penalty and the loss of their subsidy credit by buying an alternative device now.



Droid reviews have largely described it as a second place alternative for users who want to stick with Verizon. That being the case, the prospect of a Verizon iPhone appears poised to deflate Droid sales this holiday season.



End of AT&T exclusivity



The news might not be good for AT&T either, considering that many users have switched to AT&T solely because they wanted to get the iPhone. The availability of a Verizon iPhone may cause AT&T buyers to hold off on new purchases until they see what kinds of competitive deals AT&T and Verizon will offer once the iPhone's exclusivity with AT&T ends next summer and the new "worldmode" iPhone appears.



It does however give AT&T a year to improve its 3G network and roll out the 3G MicroCell before being hit with mass defections from iPhone users irate over service issues. AT&T can still advertise that its 3G network is faster than Verizon's CDMA2000 coverage, and that it offers some features that CDMA2000 does not, including simultaneous voice and data and easy to use, multiple party conference calling.



AT&T has struggled to keep up with the pace of iPhone development, failing to immediately implement iPhone 3.0's MMS and tethering features, and remaining unable to take advantage of the faster 7.2 Mbps HSPA data potential of the iPhone 3GS. The threat posed by a "worldmode" iPhone should push AT&T to deliver a year of high priority network upgrades, and potentially result in more competitive service plans.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 110
    I'll be the first to call "bull" on this supposed new Verizon iPhone.
  • Reply 2 of 110
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,493member
    In other news... Scientists have determined Hell is entering a phase of global cooling. Apparently, Hell is freezing over.



    News at 11:00.
  • Reply 3 of 110
    Smaller screen? Screw that. I want a Verizon iPhone very, very badly, but the screen is a perfect size right now - that's a HUGE drop in size.
  • Reply 4 of 110
    woodewoode Posts: 67member
    If this is true, then SCHWEET!



    I'm not moving to Verizon, cuz their service SUCKS at my home, but I got Verizon friends that are chomping at the bit to get an iPhone. I pretty much told them that a supplier (Broadcom/Qualcomm) would have to come out with a hybrid radio chip for this to happen, and lookie here, it did (if this is true).



    Not sure about the 2.5" screen model, though. The current 3.5" screen is pushing it for my aging eyes, at least when hitting the web with Safari.



    I'm taking this with a big block of salt, but anything that gets AT&T off their buttocks to push out network upgrades (and tethering!) makes me happy.
  • Reply 5 of 110
    B.S. The next phone will be LTE capable for 4G roll out, not CMDA enabled.
  • Reply 6 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post


    Smaller screen? Screw that. I want a Verizon iPhone very, very badly, but the screen is a perfect size right now - that's a HUGE drop in size.



    It's nonsense. A smaller screen size would affect all 100,000 apps currently for sale in the App Store. It's speculation by people who have no idea what they're talking about.
  • Reply 7 of 110
    mgzmgz Posts: 25member
    I could only buy that the screen will be "smaller" if they mean in width, i.e. to make the phone 16:9 rather than the current strange ratio, and with a higher resolution. But I find it hard to believe even so. Anyone feel like re-working 100,000 apps?
  • Reply 8 of 110
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    B.S. The next phone will be LTE capable for 4G roll out, not CMDA enabled.



    You do understand that it takes time to upgrade a network right? A LTE iphone would only work in upgraded parts of the network and have no service elsewhere.
  • Reply 9 of 110
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgz View Post


    I could only buy that the screen will be "smaller" if they mean in width, i.e. to make the phone 16:9 rather than the current strange ratio, and with a higher resolution. But I find it hard to believe even so. Anyone feel like re-working 100,000 apps?



    Or if they made a new product to get past the AT&T exclusive contract.
  • Reply 10 of 110
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    I agree smaller screen is BS. If anything I would push the screen more towards the edges (icluding top edges) at least on the touch. As far as the vPhone, I would say hella unlikely, at least not untill we get 4G. Untill then I am hoping for T-Mobile or US Cellular. We'll see.
  • Reply 11 of 110
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Or if they made a new product to get past the AT&T exclusive contract.



    they have been pretty firm on one model phone. not one for this group and one for that one.



    now if someone came out with a gsm/cdma/lte chip I could see verizon and sprint on the list of carriers easy



    that said, even just T-mobile v ATT with an unlocked phone could kick ATT in the ass to make some improvements so it's not bad
  • Reply 12 of 110
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I'll be the first to call "bull" on this supposed new Verizon iPhone.



    I like the idea. I see no reason to move to a 14.4Mbps HSDPA radio next year, though HSUPA would be nice. Eventually Apple and AT&T have to hit that saturation point that requires a bleed over to other networks, especially in light of AT&T?s claim that their phone data usage is up ~5000% in 3 years.



    If the contract is finalized then a 2nd network may work. It?s not like CDMA will be going away in the US within the next 5 years, even after LTE is up. What I want to know is?
    ? How much this chip costs and how much extra is the licensing that will affect every GSM-based iPhone user?

    ? How big the chip compared to the current one in the iPhone?

    ? How much power does it use in comparison to the current chip?
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post


    Smaller screen? Screw that. I want a Verizon iPhone very, very badly, but the screen is a perfect size right now - that's a HUGE drop in size.



    They might have to go the iPod Mini route like they did with the iPod by making a smaller iPhone in order to continue growth, but I don?t think they?ve reached that saturation point yet. Especially with Apple selling the 8GB 3G for $99.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    B.S. The next phone will be LTE capable for 4G roll out, not CMDA enabled.



    That will be impossible for Summer 2010. It?ll be years before Verizon can get LTE coverage up to CDMA?s coverage.
  • Reply 13 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    AT&T has yet to introduce its 3G MicroCell to enable users to solve their own dead zones at home or work.





    NOT TRUE.



    AT&T has been marketing it for a while now.

    See this link AT&T 3G MicroCell™
  • Reply 14 of 110
    c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    Let's see what all those Verizon customers who swore they could only be happy with a physical keyboard do when iPhone comes to their carrier
  • Reply 15 of 110
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I like the idea. I see no reason to move to a 14.4Mbps HSDPA radio next year, though HSUPA would be nice. Eventually Apple and AT&T have to hit that saturation point that requires a bleed over to other networks, especially in light of AT&T?s claim that their phone data usage is up ~5000% in 3 years.



    If the contract is finalized then a 2nd network may work. It?s not like CDMA will be going away in the US within the next 5 years, even after LTE is up. What I want to know is?
    ? How much this chip costs and how much extra is the licensing that will affect every GSM-based iPhone user?

    ? How big the chip compared to the current one in the iPhone?

    ? How much power does it use in comparison to the current chip?


    They might have to go the iPod Mini route like they did with the iPod by making a smaller iPhone in order to continue growth, but I don?t think they?ve reached that saturation point yet. Especially with Apple selling the 8GB 3G for $99.







    That will be impossible for Summer 2010. It?ll be years before Verizon can get LTE coverage up to CDMA?s coverage.



    QCOM has license agreements to make the GSM/UMTS/CDMA chipsets. My guess the hybrid chips sets will cost 50% more to may be $30+. On top of that QCOM charges an average royalty of 5.5% of sales, which would amount to $33-39/iPhone. What I do not know is if the QCOM x-licensing precludes other parties charging extra royalties. Other parties would include Interdigital, and the rest of the UMTS group that would include just above anybody.



    Anyway, this kind of hybrid would add other costs in components like power amps, etc. Since CDMA/EVDO is less than 20%, I wonder if there is benefit versus cost advantage. Makes this report dubious, including changing the screen size even the number and aspect of the pixels stay the same. Hard enough to read as it is... and the physical size is just about right.
  • Reply 16 of 110
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    I'm having a hard time believing that an even smaller iPhone has any utility.
  • Reply 17 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    It's nonsense. A smaller screen size would affect all 100,000 apps currently for sale in the App Store. It's speculation by people who have no idea what they're talking about.



    No... they could keep the same resolution and maintain compatibility.

    What would happen, though, is we would lose touch space on the screen. The keyboard would become more difficult to use and buttons in apps would become more difficult to use. If there's a smaller version of the phone coming out--as small as the one mentioned in this article--I can't imagine it is an all-around replacement for the current iPhone. Perhaps an alternative of some sort.
  • Reply 18 of 110
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    True or not, competition is a good thing. It makes companies try harder for your business.



    As for a smaller iPhone, it would likely have the same resolution as the current. Younger eyes will likely have no trouble seeing the smaller iPhone. I, on the other hand, will need the 10 inch iPhone soon.
  • Reply 19 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    B.S. The next phone will be LTE capable for 4G roll out, not CMDA enabled.



    I don't think the next iPhone will be LTE. It will be HSPA+ 21MBPS though. It is currently 7.2. 21 seems more realistic. Especially since many carriers are deploying this notably in Canada.



    EDIT: I like the idea of the hybrid chip however, wouldnt that mean that on Bell or Telus, who only has 7.2 and 21, be able to go back to evdo or (god forbid) 1x digital? where needed?
  • Reply 20 of 110
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    I'm having a hard time believing that an even smaller iPhone has any utility.



    I agree - its screen size is what makes it an "iPhone"- otherwise its something else.
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