CDMA iPhone Testing May Be In the Works

| Rumor

Apple may be testing a CDMA-based iPhone 4 for a January launch, according to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, although that doesn’t necessarily mean Verizon customers will finally get their own version of the combination iPod and smartphone.

All iPhone models to date have been GSM-based, making them incompatible with Verizon’s CDMA-based network.

According to Mr. Gruber’s sources, Apple has entered into the engineering verification test phase (EVT) with its CDMA-based iPhone 4. The next step is the device verification test phase (DVT), which signifies a product that’s close to an official launch.

While hopeful customers will likely claim the rumor adds weight to reports that Apple is working on an iPhone deal with Verizon, it could also be an indicator that Apple is working with a different CDMA-based carrier. China Telecom, for example, could be getting the rumored CDMA iPhone, or possibly Sprint in the United States.

Since Apple doesn’t comment on unannounced products, for now reports that a CDMA iPhone is in the testing phase should be treated as more rumors.

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Ross Edwards

This still doesn’t make a lot of sense to be for a Verizon changeover.  Even if it was 100% true and they were at the stage the rumors suggest, by the time the CDMA iPhone would arrive on store shelves, VZ and ATT will be hip-deep in their transition to the new LTE standard.  All Apple has to do is… Nothing… and Verizon’s transmission standard will come to THEM, not the other way around.

Sprint, meanwhile, is staying with CDMA because they pushed all their chips in on their “4G” branding, the EVO, etc.  It makes sense if it’s for Sprint.  But of course if they’re already doing it for Sprint, it becomes trivial to also open it to Verizon with or without accounting for the LTE changeover.  See the paradox?  If they are ONLY moving to Verizon, Apple doesn’t have to do anything but wait, but if they’re actually making a CDMA device, it makes economic sense to just open it to any carrier.

And this is not to mention the smaller carriers that use whatever standard is convenient for what is generally used equipment… Cricket, Boost, MetroPCS, etc…



Your article makes it seem like it just started testing recently when in fact its been testing for a while. There was not supposed to be a CDMA-only Iphone. It was supposed to be CDMA/LTE so things may have changed recently. Regardless, both versions are testing and Ipads as well.


I seem to remember reading that one of the major Chinese phone systems was CDMA. If so that would seem to me to be a more likely destination.

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