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iPhone 5 with dual-mode CDMA, GSM shows in app logs

updated 09:10 pm EDT, Mon August 22, 2011

iPhone 5 CDMA and GSM turns up in app tracking

Repeated references to a dual-mode iPhone 5 were borne out late Monday after a developer mentioned that it had been showing up in app logs. A small batch of users have been tracked while running two carriers. One of those seen by TechCrunch attached itself to both AT&T and Verizon, which wouldn't be possible on the current models.

It's possible to fake the carrier ID and similar elements on jailbroken iPhones. Creating two simultaneous IDs on one phone would be difficult, however, if not impossible without the requisite hardware.

Apple is widely expected to be using a Qualcomm cellular chipset that would give it both CDMA and GSM, along with matching 3G, without having to have separate phone models. The step would let Apple go back to making just one core model. It would also give Verizon subscribers true world roaming support so that they're not limited to the US and a handful of countries where CDMA is widespread.

Many see a dual-mode iPhone as necessary to help Apple move to even more carriers than it does now, particularly in countries where CDMA is only one option and GSM is equal or more common. It has already dropped hints of support for Sprint and T-Mobile, and it might also support China Telecom, Japan's KDDI, and Indian carriers such as Reliance or Tata.

By Electronista Staff


  1. ojala

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003


    The demand

    There are only handful of countries with CDMA networks and new CDMA networks aren't being built. I'm not convinced that folks in those places will benefit that much from a dual-mode phone when they have their locked, subsidized iPhones from the local CDMA carrier. They aren't used to buying the phone unlocked for the real price. And do they really roam to foreign networks that much?

    Qualcomm's MDM6600 chipset in the Verizon iPhone is dual mode but it's 3G support is relatively modest, just up 14.4 Mbps HSPA+. What the iPhone in 2011 needs is the dual-carrier HSPA+ support from the 3G-only MDM8220 chipset. I'm assuming that the MDM9600 won't be available yet.

    As a potential dual-carrier HSPA+ user I don't like the idea that I have to pay the extra and carry the extra weight of having CDMA support in my phone that I will never need. And most of the world falls in this very same category.

    Now with LTE just behind the corner, Apple may have to introduce even more iPhone models than the two (three) current ones.

  1. yticolev

    Forum Regular

    Joined: May 2002


    Extra weight?

    Do you know how much more a dual-mode chipset weighs? 2 grams? 3 grams? You will save more weight by spitting! I might also point out that the current Verizon iPhone has a dual-mode chipset (only wired for CDMA) and the weight is the same as the AT&T handset.

    The rest of us might appreciate the cost savings of fewer SKUs. I think that is the primary reason for the move by Apple, not world travelers, a very tiny market.

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