Plans have emerged today from people briefed by Apple that the company is to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that will allow Verizon Wireless to sell its popular smartphone early next year.
The new iPhone will be no different externally to the iPhone 4 in shops today, however, internally it will feature an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon. According to the same people, the key chip will be provided by Qualcomm, and the device is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year.
A CDMA iPhone would spell the end of Apple’s exclusive arrangement with AT&T in the U.S., a deal that has been in place since the iPhone made its debut in 2007.
The same people have also spilled some beans on the fifth-generation iPhone, which they claim is currently being developed by the Cupertino computer giant. One person familiar with the plan claims that the next model will feature a different form factor from the iPhones currently available, however, it was unclear how soon this version will be available to Verizon.
Spokeswomen for both Apple and Qualcomm have unsurprisingly declined to comment on the matter, and so has a spokesman for Verizon Wireless.