A Verizon-compatible iPhone has been rumored for years with analysts predicting its launch every six months. These more recent rumors though, suggest there’s something more to a Verizon iPhone launch early next year. Fueled by TechCrunch’s report that millions of CDMA chips from Qualcomm were actually purchased to power Apple’s first CDMA iPhone.
If Daring Fireball’s John Gruber is to be believed – his track record is higher than most – a CDMA variant of the iPhone internally codenamed N92 (iPhone 4 is N90) has supposedly entered the engineering verification test (EVT). As you might recall, the iPhone 4 leaked earlier this year was tagged with a barcode that read “N90_DVT_GE4X_0493”. Gruber revealed back in April that the DVT tag refers to the iPhone 4’s testing phase as the final step before production ramps up. Once a device passes the EVT, it’ll make its way into the DVT phase and from there, production.
Aside from foggy evidence and whispers that such a device is real, nobody knows for sure which carrier and which country the CDMA variant is for. Verizon is obviously the best choice in the US but there’s nothing stopping Apple from aligning itself with Sprint to battle Verizon and its Android alliance. Then again its possible a CDMA iPhone is heading overseas to China Telecom or another popular CDMA carrier.
Of course nothing is set in stone, but as the year winds down there’ll likely be more evidence of a looming launch. The rumors have never been this substantial so it would seem that if Apple were prepping a non-GSM iPhone, it’ll likely be early next year.
What do you think? If Apple goes CDMA will it choose Sprint or Verizon? Do you think we’ll see it come January? Share your predictions in the comments.