Rumor: iPhone 5/iPad 2 To Be GSM/CDMA, More

| Rumor

The Apple Rumor Mill
The next iteration of both the iPhone and iPad will feature a Qualcomm chipset that supports both CMDA and GSM, allowing the device to operate on most of the planet’s cellular networks. Engadget reported Friday that an unnamed “reliable source” also told the site that the iPad 2 will also feature a higher resolution screen than the current design, have front and rear-facing cameras, and feature an SD card slot. What’s more the next Apple TV, and possible iPhone and iPad, will be powered by a new Apple CPU called the A5.

If Apple were to move to a Qualcomm chipset that did support GDM and CDMA, it would allow Apple to make just one version of the iPhone for every market in which the company competes. Heretofore, Apple has only offered a GSM version of the iPhone based on an Infineon chipset, but that changed earlier this month when Apple and Verizon announced a CDMA version of the device for use on Big Red’s network.

In addition, the world’s largest cell phone operator is China Mobile, with more customers than the U.S. has citizens. Apple currently offers the iPhone through the smaller (but still large) China Unicom in the Chinese market, but a CDMA version of the device could possibly work for China Mobile, as well (China Mobile’s CDMA network is different than Verizon’s flavor, and there are no details available about this supposed Qualcomm dual-baseband chipset).

Apple currently offers a model of the iPad with 3G support, but it’s only for GSM networks. Verizon sells the iPad, but it’s the WiFi-only device that can be bundled with a companion mobile hotspot device. Clearly the dual-baseband chipset would simplify this issue for Apple, as well.

In keeping with other reports, the source said that Apple is working on a completely new form factor for the iPhone 5, with early designs being tested on Apple’s campus.

Speaking of the iPad, Engadget reported that the next version of the device is still in early testing phase, and isn’t expected until April. Some reports starting late in the year in 2010 suggested that Apple could announce a new iPad as early as February.

In any event, the new device will feature a display that is, “akin to (though not the same as) the iPhone 4’s Retina Display ,” and sport a higher resolution than the current iPad. As noted above, the source said it will feature two cameras, one in the front and one in the back, as well as an SD card slot.

Powering this new generation of iOS devices will be the Apple A5 processor, an unannounced processor based on the Cortex A9 reference design. In addition to featuring multiple cores, this new processor will support 1080p video with ease, which is why it will definitely be in the next version of the Apple TV. Engadget’s source said it would be used in the iPhone, but didn’t know if Apple was planning on using it in the iPad.

As with all rumors from unidentified sources, take this set with a grain of salt, though Engadget did stress that this was, “some concrete information from reliable sources.”

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