Apparently Pegatron Technology has been signed to start building CDMA-based iPhone 4 models in November, and is expected to ship upwards of 10 million units by mid-2011, according to unnamed industry sources. Assuming the reports are legit, the CDMA-compatible iPhone will most likely target China and not Verizon.
Word of Pegatron’s iPhone manufacturing deal comes courtesy of DigiTimes, which doesn’t always have the most accurate track record in predicting new Apple products.
The DigiTimes report doesn’t fit the time schedule Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro backed earlier this week. He claimed in an investor report that the CDMA-based iPhone 4 would go into production in December.
Apple’s iPhone product line so far only supports GSM-based cell networks, which hasn’t been a big problem for the company since so many cell service providers around the world rely on GSM technology. Verizon, however, uses CDMA technology, which isn’t compatible with the GSM protocol.
While rumors that Apple has been building a CDMA-compatible iPhone for Verizon have been circulating for years, it doesn’t seem likely that will happen any time soon. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made that clear earlier this week when he stated he hopes to be able to swing a deal with Apple after his company launches its LTE-based network.
Verizon, AT&T and other cell service companies are working on upgrading their networks for LTE, which promises faster data connections and better voice call quality than the 3G networks mobile phones rely on today. Once the switch to LTE is complete, it will be easier for Apple to bring the iPhone to additional carriers since they’ll be using compatible technologies.
Assuming Apple is building CDMA-compatible iPhones, they’re most likely destined for China and its proprietary CDMA network. If so, Apple will be targeting the largest potential user base in the world.