According to an unconfirmed report, Apple has hired a company in Taiwan to produce a version of the iPhone with support for CDMA wireless networks. The current version of this popular smartphone supports AT&T’s network, but the new one is apparently for Verizon or Sprint.
Apple has reportedly hired Pegatron Technology — a spin off of Asustek — to manufacture a version with CDMA. Production is supposedly going to begin in August or September, and the company could make as many as 10 million units in the first year.
The End of AT&T’s Grip on the iPhone
AT&T has had an agreement with Apple to be the sole U.S. provider for the iPhone since its inception, but persistent but unconfirmed rumors have indicated that this is coming to an end.
Verizon is the carrier these reports indicate is most likely to get a version of the device, but all the U.S. carriers have made it clear they’d be happy to offer Apple’s very popular smartphone.
Recently, unnamed sources at several large companies have claimed to be testing a version of the iPhone with support for Verizon’s nascent 4G network. This LTE-powered model will allegedly be released this summer.
If these rumors are correct and Apple is going making its smartphone available to a second U.S. wireless carrier, it could significantly shake up the phone market.
An Early Look at the iPhone HD
Although the formal unveiling of Apple’s next smartphone isn’t expected until next month, unconfirmed reports already offer many details about the model.
The iPhone HD will supposedly sport a 960 x 640 pixel touchscreen. All previous versions have a 3.5-inch, HVGA (320 x 480 pixel) screen. A number of images of this model show it sporting a new, less rounded look.
It’s expected to be the debut of iPhone OS 4.0, the first version of Apple’s operating system that will allow third-party applications to run in the background. In addition, a prototype unit that leaked out of Apple is running this OS on an Apple A4 processor, a 1 GHz chip also used in the new iPad.
In addition to a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, there is strong evidence that the next iPhone will support iChat video conferencing using a front-facing camera.
Apple has scheduled an event on June 22 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where all previous iPhones were unveiled, making this a likely date for the announcement of the fourth-generation version.