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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    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...
  • Reply 2 of 53
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 53
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    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. We?re 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.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    neilmneilm Posts: 620member
    [Deleted by author]
  • Reply 8 of 53
    justflybobjustflybob Posts: 1,337member
    Well, I guess congratulations are in order.



    Ireland nailed this one months ago.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    iliveriliver Posts: 299member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    sounds good. Let me know when the Macbook Air will have 3g/4g capability.
  • Reply 12 of 53
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 53
    iliveriliver Posts: 299member
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 53
    macrrmacrr Posts: 488member
    wow... some people up in here need to get laid...



    sad...
  • Reply 15 of 53
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 53
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,295member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,295member
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 53
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 53
    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*
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