Verizon iPhone 4 Packs CDMA, GSM Chip

Apple’s Verizon-compatible iPhone 4 isn’t officially available until February 10, but that didn’t stop the iFixit team from getting their hands on one and stripping it down to its screws. Inside they found several changes — including a Qualcomm chip that supports Verizon’s CDMA cell network technology as well as AT&T’s GSM tech.

“The Qualcomm MDM6600 chip supports HSPA+ data rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B. It supports both GSM and CDMA—which means that Apple could have supported GSM,” the iFixit team said. “Why didn’t they? It may be that it was easier to design antennas for a CDMA-only phone — this phone supports two cellular frequency bands, while Apple supports five bands in the GSM version.”

Verizon iPhone 4: From the inside!

In other words, just because Apple used a chip that includes GSM support doesn’t mean they chose to take advantage of that feature. The Verizon-compatible iPhone 4 doesn’t include a SIM card slot, either, so there isn’t any way to easily hack the phone to add GSM support.

The Verizon-compatible iPhone 4 also sports a redesigned battery that weighs less, a new vibrate motor that’s been repositioned for a better feel, and a different antenna configuration compared to the GSM-compatible model.

While some pre-order customers have already received their Verizon iPhone 4, the new version of the combination iPod and smartphone doesn’t officially go on sale until February 10.

For more on what’s inside the Verizon iPhone 4, check out the iFixit Web site.