• New $99 iPhone to Be Verizon-Only?

    Mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm announced today that they are working on a dual CDMA/UMTS chip that would allow the same phone to operate on carriers using either standard. Recent reports have suggested that Apple is readying a new dual-mode "worldphone" that could work on Verizon Wireless's CDMA network in the US.

    Contrary to the announcement, an analyst - citing his own sources within the company - says that Qualcomm would not be able to deliver the hybrid chip anytime in the coming year. The report that was detailed by GigaOm last week said Verizon was readying an "iPhone nano" for launch in the third quarter of 2010. Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Northeast Securities, told AppleInsider that it would be impossible for Apple to release a dual-mode iPhone until 2011 at the earliest. Kumar noted that in order for them to be able to start shipping the new device in the summer of 2010, a prototype would have to be undergoing field trials already, and "they're nowhere near that," he said.

    Technically I think it will be a stretch to have both UMTS and CDMA, because not only do you have hardware issues in terms of the baseband, but also software issues. Eventually they will probably get there [with the iPhone], but that's probably a 2011 story, not a 2010 story.
    Instead, Kumar says he thinks that it's much more likely that Apple would release a CDMA-only version of the iPhone that would be specifically made for Verizon Wireless, and that would go on sale in the second half of next year.

    The GigaOm report said a Verizon-compatible "worldmode" iPhone would launch by the third quarter of 2010, and that it would work with on both CDMA/EVDO networks like Verizon's and and UMTS networks like AT&T's. Qualcomm's press release said that the company would be launching new chips that would support HSPA and 3G and LTE chipsets in the second half of 2010, but Kumar asserts that the technology isn't currently available and, further, that any new chips would have a very high cost.

    "It's very likely they're trying to hit a low price point, maybe a $99 price point," Kumar said about the rumored phone, which is in line with what was reported by GigaOm.

    image via The Inquisitr
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