Verizon iPhone tear-down reveals GSM/CDMA and HSPA+ chipset

iPhoneVerizon_Teardown2

As some lucky consumers begin receiving their Verizon iPhone early, the iFixyouri and 9to5mac team tore their new phone down. We already knew that Apple was using modified and updated hardware on the new Verizon iPhone, compared to the iPhone 4, but what the team discovered is very interesting.

The iFixyouri team discovered that the new Verizon iPhone has a dualmode GSM and CDMA chipset. Although the Verizon iPhone doesn't have a SIM slot, it does appear that the iPhone 5 could have one model for both GSM and CDMA carriers, both inside and outside of the United States.

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What's even more interesting about this chipset, Qualcomm MDM6600 chip, is that it supports HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps. Even though Verizon uses a different technology, the hardware gives us a possible glimpse into the future of the iPhone. Many carriers within the United States, including AT&T, support HSPA+ already.

Since the new Qualcomm chipset supports both GSM and CDMA, why wouldn't Apple use this technology in the upcoming iPad 2?

Image credit: iFixyouri.com

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Most Qualcomm (who own most patents related to CDMA) kitchen sink ICs (ala Snapdragon) have support for GSM/CDMA/UMTS. However, what radio is actually used depends on the manufacturer...not too sure if it supports control of multiple radios at once.

So this is hardly an indicator of an iPhone with support for all of them in one phone.

No doubt that the next iPhone will be dual CDMA/GSM then. I'd be really surprised if it wasn't since Apple tends to not like many SKU's.

If this chipset does get used in the next iPhone, I'm hoping it will support the 1700/2100 MHz AWS bands since it could finally expand to full support on carriers like T-Mobile USA and Wind Mobile in Canada and not just be limited to EDGE only.

Kevin. said,
No doubt that the next iPhone will be dual CDMA/GSM then. I'd be really surprised if it wasn't since Apple tends to not like many SKU's.

Unrelated, but it's an interesting point you just made. Remember before Jobs came back in the 90's...there were DOZENS of SKUs for similar devices. The whole product line was cluttered and disgusting. It's one of the simplest now. It's also interesting to look at HP's website. Their level of clutter is getting ridiculous.

/- Razorfold said,
Isn't HSPA+ considered to be 21Mbps and higher? 14.4Mbps is HSPA (Or well HSDPA since its the download)

That was my understanding as well. HSDPA at 3.6, 7.2, 14.4 Mbps down (without MIMO) and HSPA+ at 21.6, 28.8, and higher Mbps down (with MIMO).

In the US carriers can even call HSPA+ "4G" even though it's definitely a "3G" technology. WiMax and LTE-Advanced are the only 4G technologies I know of. This is what happens when there's no authority to enforce false advertisement laws, which seems like is the case in the United States. Any company can say pretty much anything to make a buck. Reminds me of the "Bieber 6G" superbowl commercial.

I guess this confirms a dual-mode iPhone 5 (GSM/CDMA). Question is, does Apple want to forgo the use of a SIM card entirely? If that's the case then I think they'll slowly phase out the AT&T iPhone 4 with the Verizon iPhone 4.

Anaron said,
I guess this confirms a dual-mode iPhone 5 (GSM/CDMA). Question is, does Apple want to forgo the use of a SIM card entirely? If that's the case then I think they'll slowly phase out the AT&T iPhone 4 with the Verizon iPhone 4.

Why would they do it? GSM market is way bigger than the CDMA one.

Fritzly said,

Why would they do it? GSM market is way bigger than the CDMA one.

Built in SIM functionality so a user has to call the provider in order to get on their network when switching phones. I certainly hope not because I really like how I can switch the SIM from my iPhone 4 to my older 3GS phone (using a small adapter). This makes it easy for me to switch to the 3GS if i'm having problems with my phone.

Fritzly said,

Why would they do it? GSM market is way bigger than the CDMA one.

Bigger is less than bigger plus smaller. They'd be able to sell the iPhone in previously unreachable markets. Sure, there's a CDMA iPhone 4 now but it certainly would've sold more had it been released alongside the GSM iPhone 4. My point is, it'll allow Apple to sell more iPhones. Also, it could cut down on manufacturing costs.

Shadrack said,

Built in SIM functionality so a user has to call the provider in order to get on their network when switching phones. I certainly hope not because I really like how I can switch the SIM from my iPhone 4 to my older 3GS phone (using a small adapter). This makes it easy for me to switch to the 3GS if i'm having problems with my phone.

I only asked because it seemed like a possibility to me, especially if they can't release a dual-mode iPhone with a micro SIM slot.

Crazy. So this means there will definitely be a single iPhone 5 with both 1X/EVDO (CDMA) and UMTS/HSPA+ (GSM) support.

I don't really see why Apple didn't just release this as a new phone on both AT&T and Verizon ... as an HSPA+ upgrade to the iPhone 4, though that may have been very confusing for consumers -- for there to be two versions of an AT&T iPhone 4 for example, one HSPA and one HSPA+ ... on the flip side, if they had included the sim slot, the Verizon iPhone 4 could have been usable overseas as an HSPA+ phone too. Kind of a missed opportunity in my opinion.

Sure would have loved to have that in Canada though. I haven't been able to get more than 6.32 Mbps down and 4.09 Mbps up with the iPhone 4 because it's limited by its HSPA chipset even though Telus offers HSPA+ speeds up to 21.6 Mbps down.

sabrex said,
Crazy. So this means there will definitely be a single iPhone 5 with both 1X/EVDO (CDMA) and UMTS/HSPA+ (GSM) support.

I don't really see why Apple didn't just release this as a new phone on both AT&T and Verizon ... as an HSPA+ upgrade to the iPhone 4, though that may have been very confusing for consumers -- for there to be two versions of an AT&T iPhone 4 for example, one HSPA and one HSPA+ ... on the flip side, if they had included the sim slot, the Verizon iPhone 4 could have been usable overseas as an HSPA+ phone too. Kind of a missed opportunity in my opinion.


It's an antenna problem. Apple would have to find a way to pack CDMA antenna on the current iPhone 4 design along with the GSM/UMTS ones, which is not possible without making the iPhone 4 bigger, larger, bulkier.

einsteinbqat said,
It's an antenna problem. Apple would have to find a way to pack CDMA antenna on the current iPhone 4 design along with the GSM/UMTS ones, which is not possible without making the iPhone 4 bigger, larger, bulkier.

So they can't use the same antenna for either 1X/EVDO and UMTS/HSPA+ ? I kind of doubt they need two different antennas. I'd imagine the same one can be used on both networks. It's basically just a piece of metal.

sabrex said,
Crazy. So this means there will definitely be a single iPhone 5 with both 1X/EVDO (CDMA) and UMTS/HSPA+ (GSM) support.

I don't really see why Apple didn't just release this as a new phone on both AT&T and Verizon ... as an HSPA+ upgrade to the iPhone 4, though that may have been very confusing for consumers -- for there to be two versions of an AT&T iPhone 4 for example, one HSPA and one HSPA+ ... on the flip side, if they had included the sim slot, the Verizon iPhone 4 could have been usable overseas as an HSPA+ phone too. Kind of a missed opportunity in my opinion.

Sure would have loved to have that in Canada though. I haven't been able to get more than 6.32 Mbps down and 4.09 Mbps up with the iPhone 4 because it's limited by its HSPA chipset even though Telus offers HSPA+ speeds up to 21.6 Mbps down.


There was no space. The Qualcomm chip replaced the micro SIM slot.

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown...e-4-Verizon-Teardown/4693/2

sabrex said,

So they can't use the same antenna for either 1X/EVDO and UMTS/HSPA+ ? I kind of doubt they need two different antennas. I'd imagine the same one can be used on both networks. It's basically just a piece of metal.

I'd agree with you since my HTC Touch Pro 2 supports both CDMA and GSM in the same phone and so do many other CDMA "world" phones.

einsteinbqat said,

It's an antenna problem. Apple would have to find a way to pack CDMA antenna on the current iPhone 4 design along with the GSM/UMTS ones, which is not possible without making the iPhone 4 bigger, larger, bulkier.

This is not correct. The CDMA and GSM signals would not be used simultaneously. The active chipset would utilize the antenna.

T-Mobile has some of their US market covered by the faster HSPA+ speeds, but only recently have phones that support those speeds been made available or have been announced.