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.