Now that Verizon finally has the iPhone, it makes sense that eventually Apple will try to consolidate both the Verizon and AT&T specific handsets into a single model. But how? One network is CDMA, the other is GSM. They aren’t compatible.
Long before the Verizon iPhone was confirmed, we’d been hearing whispers about a dual CDMA/GSM radio chip manufactured by Qualcomm that would allow future iPhones to connect to both Verizon and AT&T networks. It now looks extremely likely that Apple will be using this Qualcomm-sourced radio component for future iPhones and iPads, instead of the Infineon hardware currently being used.
The evidence? First, a report from Engadget‘s sources saying Qualcomm would be taking over the radio component sourcing for iPhone 5 and iPad 2. Now that report has seemingly been confirmed by a post by jailbreak master Zibri, who says that the current iTunes build shows clear support for a Qualcomm baseband.
Of course, the Verizon iPhone is very likely already using Qualcomm components since Qualcomm is the world’s biggest supplier of CDMA technology, so their presence in the latest iTunes build is to be expected. Even so, Apple’s not one to buy from two different suppliers what they can buy from one. A close relationship with Qualcomm makes it all the more likely that a future iPhone — maybe even the iPhone 5 — will be able to effortlessly roam between CDMA and GSM networks.