updated 05:50 pm EDT, Mon March 29, 2010
Apple may have CDMA iPhone model for VZ
Apple is developing a model of the iPhone for Verizon, an in-development rumor maintained Monday night. In addition to reinforcing expectations for a new iPhone this summer, the WSJ has added that a second model is in development for Verizon. It would use the carrier's existing CDMA network and would be made by ASUS' Pegatron business rather than Foxconn, which makes GSM versions.
Mass production of the new phone would start in September, though it wasn't evident whether it would be announced at the same time or only when enough stock existed to ship. Although Apple has usually shipped iPhone in June or July, it has regularly started mass production in mid-spring to give enough time to build up supply. The timing would put the ship date in the fall, well after AT&T's rumored exclusivity period for the iPhone should have ended.
Talk of a Verizon iPhone has been frequent and lately has suggested that Apple might opt for a Qualcomm chipset to power the CDMA connection. If it exists, the new model likely to be limited to EVDO-based 3G for data, as Verizon's LTE-based 4G isn't slated to get smartphones until 2011 and won't cover more than 30 cities by the end of 2010.
A fall release date would be unusual for Apple, but not for Verizon. The carrier has lately saved November for its largest phone releases, including the BlackBerry Storm and Motorola Droid. If scheduled that way, the iPhone would almost certainly receive Verizon's largest possible marketing effort during the holidays.