We have been hearing this rumors since the last few months that Apple is working on a CDMA iPhone and Verizon will launch it in January next year. The latest update on this rumor is that TechChrunch’s report that Apple has given a massive order of CDMA chips to Qualcomm. Today Daring Fireball has reported about it as the device has reached the “engineering verification test” (EVT) stage of the development. It is the stage when prototypes are in their final testing stage and it is made sure that everything is functioning well.
I don’t know anything about negotiations with Verizon, and I doubt anyone does other than the highest-level executives at both companies. But I do know that engineering-wise, the wheels are turning on N92, the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4. It’s certainly not in production yet, and hasn’t reached DVT status (device verification test – like Gray Powell’s infamous stolen unit), but it is, a few little birdies claim, at EVT (engineering verification test). That’s one step below DVT, which is one step below production. So it’s right about where you’d think it would be if it were scheduled to go on sale in January. The CDMA iPhone is no longer a cold storage, keep-it-alive-just-in-case-we-need-it project.
It is now clear that Apple is working on a CDMA iPhone but Gruber says it is still not a “sure thing”. Even if Apple produces a CDMA iPhone, it is not guaranteed that it will come to Verizon because Sprint is also a contender. It is also a possibility that these CDMA iPhone are for South America, Asia or may be just for China Telecom.
Gruber thinks that Apple will have started committing for full scale production if they are looking to launch it in January. This is the time when we start to see leaks of upcoming iPhone as Apple manufacturing partners gets involved. With all the recent claims by many reports and the fact that Apple’s exclusive relationship with AT&T will be finished by the end of this year, it is very much possible that Apple would launch a CDMA iPhone soon.