Apple may not be as happy with Intel’s decision to buy iPhone chipmaker Infineon as we were early told. The rumor mills are churning out this intriguing speculation: Apple may turn to Qualcomm to build its iPhone 5, a “world phone” able to support more network technology.
Choice of baseband chips, the component used to “talk” to mobile networks, is often a hint to what carriers a handset-maker plans to support. By picking Qualcomm over Infineon, Apple may signal its intention to open its popular cell phone to players besides AT&T.
A Qualcomm baseband supports not only HSPA (now used by the iPhone 4), but also HSPA+, LTE and EV-DO. This could make the iPhone available to Verizon in the U.S., as well as other CDMA-based carriers, such as those in South Korea.
The chatter picked up some steam when The China Times reported a similar item. Could Apple’s rumored decision to move to CDMA account for why CEO Steve Jobs did not object to Intel acquiring the current iPhone chip supplier?