Most notably, it uses the same Qualcomm chipset as the Droid Pro, which is both GSM and CDMA compatible. This means that technically the hardware under the hood of the Verizon iPhone 4 could be used on pretty much any network around the world. If it had a SIM slot, and with some modifications to its antenna; which has had a bit of a redesign to suit Verizon’s CDMA network better – or to remove the “Grip of Death” feature – depending on which blog you believe!
What this information does do is give us a pretty good idea of the chip sets that Apple will be using for the phone part of the iPhone 5. Most likely exactly what is in the Verizon iPhone 4 now.
Tim Cook (Apple COO) was asked about Verizon’s LTE network around the time of the Verizon launch event, and at that time he said that in order to bring the iPhone 4 to Verizon now they had to forgo using that technology. He neglected to mention that those chipsets are still fairly young and pretty power hungry too. So, unsurprisingly and wisely, Apple have gone with tried and tested technology, that is solid, and can be tweaked to suit their development plans moving forward.
And as we have previously reported this seems to be a move by Apple to use Qualcomm in the future, rather than sticking with the now Intel owned Broadcomm chip supplier.
It would be nice to imagine that perhaps Apple is still hoping to do away with the whole SIM card requirement that is driven by telcos more than phone manufacturers, and are leading the charge into software SIMs for both CDMA and GSM networks. But back in the real world that is extremely unlikely!
Other modifications to the design of the “Verizon iPhone” are a slightly better (smoother in operation) vibration motor, and lots more bonding in the display panel, making it much harder to repair the screen.
Anyone plan to hack the Verizon iPhone and see if they can get it to work on a GSM network? Now that would be a fun hobby project! Let us know your plans in the comments…
iFixit’s Verizon iPhone Teardown