Verizon Says iPhone 5 Will be CDMA and GSM Dual-Mode

Posted by at 10:24 am on April 21, 2011

Verizon during the conference call discussing its latest quarterly results inadvertently spoiled plans to launch a dual-mode iPhone 5. The company mentioned that its next Apple product would be a “global device,” or one capable of using both Verizon’s CDMA network and GSM networks while roaming abroad. Current iPhone 4s on the network are CDMA-only.

About 11 million iPhones should ship on the network in 2011, Verizon said.

Its remarks corroborate claims that Apple would be using Qualcomm chips like those it uses in the CDMA iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 to connect to both networks. The MDM6600 in either device already has support for GSM and 3G over HSPA, but neither is currently active due presumably to a lack of drivers or testing. Apple said it launched the iPhone as GSM first to reach as many as possible with as few phone models as it could, and a dual-mode phone would bring Apple back towards that goal by letting it sell a single phone it could offer to almost any carrier.

The iPhone 5 is now thought to ship in September and may be a relatively minor spin on the iPhone 4 from the outside. Inside, however, it may be a major leap with a dual-core A5 processor, an eight-megapixel camera, iOS 5, NFC wireless transactions, and possibly up to 64GB of storage.

Verizon may draw trouble for the statement since Apple has often been strict about keeping hardware details secret until its own formal announcement.

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