updated 10:25 am EST, Wed January 20, 2010
Apple tablet, iPhone may get CDMA and EVDO
Apple has been talking to Qualcomm and Verizon for its devices, new rumors assert today. In discussing NorthEast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar's beliefs about what the tablet will include, GigaOM's founder Om Malik understands that Apple has been collaborating with Qualcomm and Verizon for future devices. To what aim isn't known, though Kumar believes Qualcomm is supplying the 3G chipset for the rumored Apple tablet.
Either or both suggests a move to either a different exclusive carrier or a breaking of US carrier exclusives altogether. The latter is technically possible thanks to current and upcoming Qualcomm technology. The semiconductor company's Gobi chipset provides data-only devices with support for both EVDO and HSPA and would let Apple provide a choice of mobile data for a mid-size device like a tablet. More recently, Qualcomm has developed a HSPA+/EVDO phone chipset that would supply CDMA, GSM and the fastest possible 3G for each, giving smartphone makers like Apple the option of a single part that would support both Apple and Verizon.
While many have suspected Apple would veer away from an AT&T exclusive for the tablet, the more recent developments allude to the company backing away from that strategy for any of its 3G handsets. Although its authenticity is still in question, Electronista on the weekend received a Verizon iPhone screen capture with the implication that more details about it could become public in the near future.
Kumar in his research note today adds that checks suggest the tablet will use a customized design from Apple's PA Semi acquisition but that it will use the existing ARM Cortex-A8 architecture with most of Apple's tweaks applying to graphics performance. Samsung would actually manufacture the processor and would likely produce the required NAND flash memory as well.