It is becoming more and more likely that the iPhone 5 will feature a dual-mode GSM and CDMA radio to eliminate the need for two separate models for the different networks. The latest piece of evidence is a report from TechCrunch in which at least one developer found evidence that Apple is testing the iPhone 5 with App Store apps with logs from a device suggesting an iPhone 5 with a dual-mode radio. The log reported a device with two different mobile network codes (MNC) and mobile country codes (MCC) which are used to uniquely identify mobile carriers.
Sure enough, some registrations for the app – which the developer also asked not to be named – were logged from a new Apple device, using the MNC/MCC codes from both Verizon and AT&T.
The Verizon iPhone 4 and iPad 2 actually already contain a Qualcomm chipset that actually supports both the GSM and CDMA standards – Apple chose not to enable that capability (a SIM card slot would have also been required). Rumors of the iPhone 5 throughout this year have however been consistent in suggesting that one model will support both standards – even the Verizon CFO made comments earlier this year that their belief was that the next iPhone will be a “global device”.
One day earlier than was predicted, Apple has finally offered consumers the ability to purchase an unlocked iPhone 4 in the United States. At the moment only the GSM variety is available but you’re free to choose it in either white or black styling and in 16GB or 32GB variety.
Regardless of the color you choose, the iPhone 4 in 16GB variety starts at $649, whilst the 32GB is $749. It doesn’t come with a micro-SIM card so you’ll need to activate one yourself from any supported GSM carrier (worldwide). Whether you plan on using an iPhone extensively overseas or just on an alternative carrier, the unlocked iPhone may be your best choice – at least if you don’t want to go down the jailbreak and unlocking road.
You can purchase an unlocked iPhone 4 from the Apple online store here, and it is expected that Apple retailer stores will have them on sale from today or possibly tomorrow – we will update when we know for sure.
When iFixit tore down the Verizon iPhone 4 back in February, they found a Qualcomm Gobi that’s dual-mode GSM/CDMA capable, which indicates to us that the next iPhone on the CDMA spectrum would go global. During yesterday’s conference call, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo indicated that the next iPhone to be released on the network would be a global phone, allowing the next iPhone to become a world-phone as GSM capabilities are enabled. From Barron’s,
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo, asked about the sluggishness of the company’s ARPU growth in Q1, when the iPhone was introduced — growth was just 2.2%, compared to 2.5% in Q4, remarked:
The fluctuation, I believe, will come when a new device from Apple is launched, whenever that may be, and that we will be, on the first time, on equal footing with our competitors on a new phone hitting the market, which will also be a global device.
While Verizon could be poised to obtain an iPhone that was world-phone enabled, it might be a good time to rehash the universal SIM. Previously, Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on the ability to toggle between CDMA and GSM networks with a single SIM that would allow customers to willfully switch between CDMA and quad-band GSM. The iPhone 5 is also rumored to have a bigger display, NFC capabilities, but otherwise is expected to utilize a similar design to the iPhone 4 as a product refresh amongst other reports of an aluminum design with an internal antenna.
[Barron's via MacRumors]
Image source: iFixit
Company CutYourSim, specialized in SIM cutters and adapters for the iPhone, has launched tonight a new service that promises to provide a permanent iPhone unlock solution that doesn’t need jailbreak, additional software or hacks. The company claims their method will carry on forever through any iOS or baseband update, so users don’t have to worry about updating to the latest version of iOS. More importantly, CutYourSim says it doesn’t affect your iPhone’s warranty status “because this is an official iPhone unlock.”
How is this possible? Apparently, someone at CutYourSim found a way to “whitelist” devices by adding IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers to Apple’s own database — something that of course isn’t possible unless you have access to the aforementioned database. Which leads us to think Apple might soon find a way to block the service — but, then again, we don’t know all the details behind Apple’s IMEI database so we can’t judge right now. It is possible, however, that the procedure involves accessing the IMEI database from a carrier’s online backend. CutYourSim also says currently the CDMA sold on Verizon isn’t supported, and that the method doesn’t change a phone’s IMEI (which is illegal) but simply adds it to the whitelist. Interestingly, CutYourSim says this method has been around for a while (but never worked on AT&T) and was never cut off by Apple. Curious.
Previously, people who wanted to buy an iPhone from the United States at a cheaper price had to rely on tools like ultrasn0w for their unlocking needs. Otherwise, the phone wouldn’t work on an unsupported carrier. The obvious downside to hacks like ultrasn0w is that every iOS release and baseband update can “break them”, forcing iPhone users to stay on an older iOS version until a new unlocking tool is released. This is exactly what CutYourSim wants to improve by offering an unlock that works with any iOS update — again, because an iPhone’s IMEI is added to Apple’s whitelist.
Personally, I don’t recommend buying the $169 unlock process from CutYourSim as I have a feeling the whole thing is illegal and requires hacking into Apple’s own database. Still, I believe it would be interesting to know the technical details behind the process, and feedback from those who went ahead and purchased the unlock. If you did, let us know. [via @chronic]
If you’ve been intrigued by what exactly is different between the WiFi, GSM (AT&T) and CDMA (Verizon) versions of the iPad 2, well iFixit has you covered yet again with some very nice comparisons of the internals of those three base models. The above photo shows you the logic board of the three (WiFi up top and 3G below the ruler) but iFixit also documents the other key vitals of the iPad 2 on their site from the various antennas, 3G chips and the headphone jack.
The key differences to note are that the CDMA model has an additional antenna compared to the GSM variety and it also uses a Qualcomm Gobi dual-mode radio with integrated GPS that actually supports both CDMA and GSM, but the GSM compatibility is unused by the iPad. As for the GSM models, they use an Infineon GSM chip and a Broadcom GPS chip. Interestingly the hardware for both the CDMA and GSM iPad 2 follows the iPhone 4, in which the GSM versions used that Infineon and Broadcom chips whilst the Verizon CDMA version used the single Qualcomm one.
Want to see more? Jump through to the iFixit site and don’t forget to have a look at the full iPad 2 teardown and Smart Cover teardown that they also did earlier this month.
The folks over at iFixyouri and 9to5mac have taken a look at the internals of the Verizon iPhone and found out the device is running a dual-mode GSM-CDMA-capable Qualcomm Gobi chip. This Qualcomm’s chip enables worldphone capabilities with GSM and CDMA support on all carriers, but of course the Verizon iPhone won’t be able to accomplish this due to the lack of a SIM slot.
The Qualcomm Gobi MDM6600 modem supports GSM, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, HSDPA, HSPA (up to 14.4 Mbps) and EV-DO (up to 14.7 Mbps), as well as GPS.
Rumors about integrated dual-mode Qualcomm chipsets in the next-generation iPhones and iPads have been floating around for a while now; at this point, it seems very likely that, at least the iPhone 5, will support multiple networks in a single device capable of switching from GSM to CDMA. (more…)
According to AppleInsider, a new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities details the amount of different iPad 2 models that will be shipped in the “first wave” of the device’s introduction.
According to the report, 60% of these units will be 3G-enabled models, either GSM/UMTS units or iPads capable of running on CDMA/EVDO networks.
In speaking to AppleInsider, Kuo said his checks in the Far East indicate production figures of 38 percent for the K93 WiFi model, 46 percent of the K46 3G model, and 16 percent for the Verizon-compatible K95 CDMA version. This indicates that Apple apparently expects most iPad 2 users will opt for 3G models, even on Verizon where new iPhone buyers have the option to pay $20 for hotspot service through their new smartphone.
Last week, Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the iPad 2 won’t have a Retina Display but an anti-reflection screen similar to Amazon’s Kindle, iPod touch-like cameras and a faster processor. Right after the official announcement of the Verizon iPhone, a report suggested Verizon would start selling an iPad “that can connect directly to its network” soon. DigiTimes also reported the 60% of iPads shipped during the December timeframe were 3G models.
On a side note, iPad owners that also have an iPhone will soon be able to share an internet connection through their phone to the tablet thanks to the Personal Hotspot functionality that will be introduced with iOS 4.3. Undoubtedly, the ease of use of Personal Hotspot will make unnecessary for some to upgrade to a WiFi + 3G iPad model. It is unclear, though, how many carriers will support Personal Hotspot on launch.
A report posted tonight by Engadget reveals several details of future Apple products scheduled for a 2011 launch, such as the iPad 2, the iPhone 5 and the successor to the second-generation Apple TV. Engadget’s track record with Apple scoops has been very solid, and the details are very interesting.
According to sources close to the website, the iPad 2 will feature a higher resolution screen similar to the iPhone 4′s Retina Display, but won’t be have the same DPI. In the past, we’ve heard rumors about the next-generation iPad featuring a display with higher pixel density, and we actually spotted higher resolution images in the iBooks app for iPad months ago. Those images suggested a 2x increase in resolution. Engadget also claims the device will have a SD card slot — that bigger hole we’ve seen in cases and mockups recently wasn’t a speaker, apparently. The iPad 2 is set to come out in April, won’t feature a USB port and will be “lighter”. (more…)
Here’s an interesting rumor coming this morning from BGR: according to their source, iOS 4.3 will become available in March and will feature the Personal Hotspot functionality for all iPhones, although there will need to be carrier support. This means that iOS 4.3, according to BGR, will sport Personal Hotspot out of the box, but it’s up to a carrier like AT&T or Vodafone Italy to support it.
BGR also reports 4.3 will have build number 8F5148b, baseband will be 04.08.00 and “technical acceptance is planned for March”. It is unclear when we’ll see a developer beta for the next OS, and if AT&T in the US will support the hotspot feature.
Yesterday, both iPhoneclub.nl and iPhoneHellas reported Personal Hotspot would be available with a forthcoming iOS update for all GSM phones.