Verizon iPhone Allegedly Close to Production
The introduction of a CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless has been center stage of the Apple rumor mill for years, but many reports are now claiming the device could hit shelves as early as January 2011. Now, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber – known for reporting reliable Apple-related scoops – reports that the model is just two steps away from production.
CDMA is an alternative cell phone technology used by carriers Verizon and Sprint in the United States, and is different from the GSM technology used by AT&T and most carriers around the world. The iPhone has been a GSM-only phone since its debut in 2007, but if Gruber is right, that could soon change.
The CDMA iPhone, rumored to have acquired the code name “N92”, has reached "engineering verification test" (EVT) status, according to Gruber. This phase is just one step behind the “design verification test,” the stage in which the stolen iPhone 4 prototype was leaked.
However, the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 may not necessarily fall into the hands of Verizon . It could be released on Sprint in the United States, he noted.
The news comes on the heels of a TechCrunch report earlier this week announcing that Apple has submitted orders for millions of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone run due in December.
In June, a Bloomberg also reported that Apple could end its exclusive hold on the iPhone by giving Verizon Wireless the chance to step in and sell the product starting in January.
Rumor mongers speculate the probable debut of a Verizon iPhone would be at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, with sales starting by the end of the month.