Verizon CFO: Apple is Building a World Phone

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Verizon CFO Fran Shammo may have tipped Apple’s hand during his company’s first fiscal quarter earnings call by saying a future generation iPhone, presumably the iPhone 5, will be a “global device.” If his statement is accurate, then the next iPhone model will likely include both GSM and CDMA carrier support, making the device a world phone that can be used with nearly every carrier’s wireless network.

Commenting on slow company growth during the Verizon iPhone launch, Mr. Shammo commented “The fluctuation, I believe, will come when a new device from Apple is launched, whenever that may be, and that we will be, on the first time, on equal footing with our competitors on a new phone hitting the market, which will also be a global device,” according to Barrons.

iPhone 5 a world phone? Could be.The iPhone 5 may be a world phone

Currently, iPhone buyers can choose between a GSM-based model, which is what Apple has been selling ever since the combination iPod and smartphone was first introduced, and a CDMA-based model that’s available only through Verizon. GSM technology is used by many cell service providers around the world, including AT&T in the United States.

Verizon won’t, however, be the only company offering the CDMA-based iPhone for long. Apple has struck deals with SK Telecom in South Korea, and Saudi Telecom in Saudi Arabia, although there isn’t any official word yet on when the CDMA-based iPhone 4 will roll out in those countries.

Assuming Apple is planning on building a world phone version of the iPhone, the company would be able to make a single device that could potentially work on any carrier’s network, and customers could potentially switch carriers without replacing their phone.

Apple hasn’t commented on its plans for upcoming iPhone models, nor has it said when the next iPhone update will be coming out.

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2 Comments

Tom Schmidt

One thing most overlooked in this is the antenna.  A hybrid GSM/CDMA iPhone would be a difficult proposition from the standpoint of the antenna support.  I can’t think of any major phones that are both CDMA & GSM, but I’m not a huge smartphone geek either.

mhikl

A hybrid iPhone . . . difficult . . . standpoint of the antenna support.

Which is why Apple may be the only designer able to conjure such a device.

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