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Apple may be preparing to jump from the AT&T exclusivity ship in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal's Yukari Kane and Niraj Seth reported today that Apple-related sources who had been "briefed by the company" confirmed that the Cupertino electronics giant was cooking up a CDMA iPhone.

CDMA is a little used standard outside the U.S. – only a handful of carriers in South Korea and Japan use CDMA technology.  In the U.S., however, CDMA is huge thanks to Verizon which uses the technology to support the nation's largest wireless network.  Sprint, the third biggest carrier in the U.S., also uses CDMA.

The iPhone, now in its third generation (iPhone 3GS), still exclusively used GSM, a rival wireless technology.  GSM is the standard most commonly used worldwide and is used by both AT&T who carriers the iPhone and T-Mobile in the U.S.

Verizon and Apple both declined comment on the story.  An AT&T spokesperson told The WSJ, "There has been lots of incorrect speculation on CDMA iPhones for a long time. We haven't seen one yet and only Apple knows when that might occur."

That could occur this summer when the fourth generation iPhone airs, likely after being announced at the yearly Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) which is rumored to be held on June 28 this year.

We spoke with an AT&T spokesperson who pointed out that the CDMA iPhone is a perennial rumor.  They also commented, "We have a great relationship with Apple. Because of the iPhone and many other great devices, AT&T is the industry leader in smartphones, with twice as many smartphone customers as the nearest competitor."

While we agree that currently this is merely an unconfirmed report, The Wall Street Journal is typically a more reputable source, so we're staying tuned on this one.

Update 1: Mar. 30, 2010, 5:00 p.m EST:

We wanted to share the comments of a couple of seasoned Apple analysts on the topic of an incoming CDMA iPhone.  Most agreed that the CDMA iPhone was in the works, but many believed it would not be released on Verizon this year.  Writes Maynard Um of UBS in a note to clients, "While a new iPhone [fourth generation] in June is in line with our expectations, we believe a launch of a CDMA-based phone with Verizon this year is unlikely but believe a CDMA phone could be launched with other operators later in the year (China Telecom and KDDI are possibilities."

Credit Suisse, another top analyst firm, comments, "As for a new CDMA-based iPhone, we continue to believe that Apple will not support Verizon until CY11 (our assumption has been second half 2011). This device may very well be in the planning stages, but as the WSJ article states, 'the schedule could change and the phone may not be available to consumers immediately after production begins.'"



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About time
By inighthawki on 3/30/2010 4:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
With some decent competition coming along, Apple probably realized they should tap into the other giant chunk of the mobile market...




RE: About time
By SunAngel on 3/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: About time
By Abrahmm on 3/30/2010 5:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the last market share report showed Apple sitting stagnant while Android gained 4.3%, I highly doubt that is the case.


RE: About time
By SunAngel on 3/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: About time
By Abrahmm on 3/30/2010 9:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
None?


RE: About time
By mikeyD95125 on 3/30/2010 10:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
The nexus one hasn't sold very well at all. But maybe because you have to buy it unlocked and it only works on t mobile and at&t.


RE: About time
By judasmachine on 3/30/2010 10:34:08 PM , Rating: 3
...and an almost total lack of advertising. I think it's done ok as a tech demonstration. It's coming to CDMA networks soon, so maybe by the time it's replaced (there were 6 Nexus generations in Blade Runner)it will have sold well.


RE: About time
By mcnabney on 3/31/2010 1:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Remember, you can't talk about any single phone when you talk about Android. There have only been three iPhones, the original, 3G and now 3GS.
In comparison, Verizon is selling three exclusive Android phones right now - with more to come. By the end of 2010 there are litterally going to be dozens of Androids out there. Some will sell very well - like the Droid, others will not. But they are cumulatively consuming a great deal of marketshare.

That is the key advantage to Android. With Apple - you have to buy the current device that is the same as everyone else - and you have to run it on AT&T. With Android you pick from a huge selection of devices; side-slide keyboard, vertical-slide keyboard, virtual keyboard only, black finish, white finish, silver finish... Then you can pick your network - Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and even AT%T. That is why Apple needs to spread out.


Yawn
By stinkyj on 3/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Yawn
By retrospooty on 3/30/2010 5:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
"It would not be cost efficient for Apple to make a CDMA phone"

How would opening up the countries largest carrier and #3 carrier not be cost effective.

They would more than double thier current sales - not cost effective, its a freegin gold mine.


RE: Yawn
By Abrahmm on 3/30/2010 5:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
They would double their potential market, not their sales. There is a lot more competition in the smart phone market than there was in 2007 when the iPhone launched, and frankly, there are already better options on Verizon.


RE: Yawn
By retrospooty on 3/30/2010 6:11:25 PM , Rating: 1
OK, good point, sales likely would not double, but still - its VERY cost effective. They already have the iPhone. To put a CDMA radio in it and add some Verizon and Sprint customizations to the ROM is not at all difficult to deal with compared to the potential sales.

Palm has done this for years, and Palm cant execute anything right. If Palm could do it, Apple could easily do it with one hand tied behind back and both eyes blinded.


RE: Yawn
By omnicronx on 3/31/2010 12:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to have to disagree, hate or love it, you are kidding yourself if you don't think this would be a great seller for Verizon or any other CDMA carrier.

And forget Verizon, if AT&T loses exclusivity and Apple offers both GSM and CDMA phones, the market potential quadruples, it does not double. AT&T only accounts for maybe 50 million users (or a little more than 1/4 of the market).

Apple could easily double their sales, I don't see any way in which Apple could lose here.


RE: Yawn
By mcnabney on 3/31/2010 1:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon = 80M
AT&T = 70+M
Sprint = 49M
T-Mobile ~ 20M?


RE: Yawn
By Gio6518 on 3/31/2010 2:05:46 AM , Rating: 1
http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2010/mar...

reports say that the iphone 4g is coming out by the end of summer, what else are they to do release it only on AT&T which has a limited and crippled 3g network and wont have a 4g network until end of 2011, wouldnt be suprised if it was released on sprint with wimax.
Remember AT&T wasnt doing to hot in sales until they got exclusive rights to the iphone


Lol
By Ard on 3/30/2010 4:30:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
In the U.S., however, CDMA is huge thanks to Verizon which uses the technology to support the nation's largest wireless network.


Sounds like it's straight out of an ad. I for one would support a CDMA based iPhone. I'm tired of AT&T. Too expensive for the lousy service I've gotten the last 2 yrs




RE: Lol
By SunAngel on 3/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: Lol
By Ard on 3/30/2010 6:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'll gladly take your money, sir.


RE: Lol
By omnicronx on 3/31/2010 12:43:36 AM , Rating: 1
Can you blame him? With such an overcrowded, I would probably pay people to leave too..


RE: Lol
By weskurtz0081 on 3/31/2010 9:19:22 AM , Rating: 1
Interesting logic! We pay AT&T, to arguably keep the network up and make any needed upgrades to meet capacity. But, since clearly that isn't doing any good, we need to add an additional cost to AT&T's crappy service, and pay OTHER people not to use it. I would GLADLY take your money!


RE: Lol
By pyr0Hawk on 3/30/2010 5:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
agreed, itd be nice to see a new options for service providors.


A little too far behind. . .
By blueboy09 on 3/30/2010 7:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
They've should've come out with a CDMA version a long time ago, but again, most giant-ass corporations tend to stifle tech so that they gain as much profit as they can, which IMO shouldn't be allowed in the first place, and the FCC needs to find some kind of leverage on this. Since LTE is coming in the near future, the time for Apple to gain on this would be now and develop a LTE phone so that they can take advantage of the foot race and be ahead. Don't get wrong, I don't like Apple at all, but you should be ahead of tech and not behind it. I mean, a phone with 2-year tech when released as not nearly as inticing as a just-released phone w/new technology in it. It makes more sense to buy it that way, IMO. - BLUEBOY




RE: A little too far behind. . .
By tjr508 on 4/6/2010 12:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They've should've come out with a CDMA version a long time ago

Their extremely lucrative ATT contract doesn't even expire for a few months and CDMA is almost unheard of outside of the US, so why should they have released a CDMA phone a long time ago?


Verizon Plans?
By icanhascpu on 3/30/2010 10:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
The only way I would get into a iPhone contract with Verizon is if they let me upgrade my Gen1 iPhone to a 3G capable one for maybe 5$ a month extra on a 2year contract.

Otherwise I don't have much incentive to switch. Others do because of connectivity issues, but I dont have that, and a lot of people don't. I things its a market they should think about getting onboard with better deal than just telling us about network size. How about something tangible?




RE: Verizon Plans?
By SunAngel on 3/30/2010 11:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
the phrase 'something tangible' has been replaced with 'service provider' since the early '80s.

'Made In America' has been replaced with 'Assembled in China' with domination of WalMart.

'<NULL>' has been replaced with 'iPhone' since WimMo.


What about simultaneous voice and data...
By Pneumothorax on 3/31/2010 9:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
Supposedly this is coming to CDMA networks... Do Verizon users have the ability to talk and surf the web at the same time on their smartphones?




By mcnabney on 3/31/2010 1:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Almost all CDMA/EVDO devices were designed to not operate both wireless radios at the same time. This saves on battery life and removes complications when using the phone. I have had a smartphone of one type or another since they first came to market and I never even tried to talk and use data connectivity at the same time until I saw the ad. It appears that AT&T has latched onto the only design benefit that GSM/HSPA engineers thought to allow.


Why has it taken do long
By ronoz123 on 3/30/2010 5:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
I do not get service at my home with AT&t but Version works. I would switch as soon as a could. CDMA might be not to hard to add if apple is also adding LTE and WiMAX?




Makes sense
By JimboK29 on 3/30/2010 10:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
I read on threatcore news that Verizon will be offering the iPhone. A few months ago they reported that ATT was the leader in dropped calls. This report makes perfect sense that Apple is adjusting to position itself in a better position. It's all about money and business.




Sources?
By funkyd99 on 3/31/2010 10:45:32 AM , Rating: 2
In a month we'll be reading about a missing employee in China who was part of the iPhone team. In two months his body will be found... "suicide", of course.




So should I
By Sylar on 3/31/2010 11:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
short AT&T now or wait a year? :P




CDMA in China
By CZroe on 4/2/2010 9:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
I was going to point out to the author that CDMA is used in China but the update mentioned China Telecom, so he should know. Did he miss that part?




Wow
By Drag0nFire on 3/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wow
By hiscross on 3/30/10, Rating: 0
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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