Does a CDMA iPhone Make Sense?
It is easy to get wrapped up in a very US-centric view of Apple's iPhone and talk about a simple rivalry between AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon. In the beginning, however, building a GSM phone and signing up with the biggest carrier using that technology in the US must have made perfect sense to Apple -- simply because it got to produce one technology platform that it could sell around the world, rather than being largely limited to the domestic market.
Now it's clear that there is enough pent-up demand from Verizon users for the iPhone. Still, does it make sense for Apple to produce a CDMA-only phone in 2011 or hang on until LTE is widely available? Bear in mind, that Verizon says that it will have a complete nationwide footprint built out in 2013, although it is rumored in BGR that the operator will be 75 percent complete by April 2012.
I would think that Apple will want maximum coverage -- at least in the major cities -- before going to LTE. And remember that if it wants to introduce an LTE phone for Verizon it will need CDMA technology in there to handle voice calls anyway, likely for years to come.
This is why I think it makes much more sense for Apple to develop the data-centric iPad for LTE first. If it puts out a 700Mhz version, that could run over either Verizon's or AT&T's upcoming network. Of course, like all other device makers, Apple will face the problem of how to support all the different radio frequencies that LTE could run over globally, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, won't we?
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile