Rumor: Apple to produce GSM/CDMA dual-mode iPhone for 2011

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple is going to skip adding the latest in mobile technology, 4G (LTE) networks, for its annual iPhone refresh next summer in favor of a GSM/CDMA dual-mode iPhone.

Apple

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple is going to skip adding the latest in mobile technology, 4G (LTE) networks, for its annual iPhone refresh next summer in favor of a GSM/CDMA dual-mode iPhone.

Of course, the big news lately is that Apple is expected to release a CDMA-only iPhone in January of 2011, preempting its normal yearly refresh of the iPhone lineup. Once the Wall Street Journal reported the Verizon-based iPhone as fact (later corroborated by another source in the New York Times), speculation immediately began as to whether the Verizon iPhone would take advantage of Verizon's 4G network.

According to TechCrunch, not only is the first Verizon iPhone unlikely to support LTE networks, but the iPhone refresh widely expected for next summer will not be LTE-capable, either. Instead, a dual-mode iPhone that is compatible with both CDMA and GSM networks would be introduced.

This may lead you to wonder why Apple would not get on board with the latest technology right away. One only need look to the original iPhone to answer this question: 3G existed in very much the same state back in 2007 as 4G exists today. Though the technology is present and being used, it only serves a small number of people and is still in a "beta" situation, subject to many more issues than existing 3G networks which have greatly matured since their rough start just a few years ago.

All this points to Apple's general take on market advances. Rarely is Apple at the forefront of emerging third-party hardware or services, preferring to wait until initial kinks are worked out. While Apple may not be first to market with many of its innovations, it is generally best to market.

And that's where Apple's real success lies.

In fact, according to the TechCrunch report, Apple is actually lobbying for expansion of existing 3G networks:

This is why AT&T is upgrading modem cards in its basestations to support the newest flavor of 3G called HSPA+, and it's why Verizon is rumored to be working hard on Voice over Revision A, which will allow simultaneous data and voice. These upgrades greatly extend the life of 3G networks, and hedge against the transition to LTE.

Should Apple release a 4G (LTE) iPhone or the CDMA/GSM dual-mode iPhone? Let us know in the comments!

 

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