Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

Summary: I was expecting the Verizon iPhone teardown to reveal nothing except a CDMA chip, some ASICs, a little antenna re-jiggering and that's it. Boy, was I wrong.

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Wow. This caught me completely off guard.

I was expecting the Verizon iPhone teardown to reveal nothing. Literally a different chip for CDMA, some ASICs, a little antenna re-jiggering and that's it. Boy, was I wrong.

Clearly visible in Step 15 of the iFixIt teardown of the Verizon iPhone is the Qualcomm MDM6600 (a.k.a. "Gobi") chip. Here's the skinny, directly from Qualcomm:

The latest modem chipsets that have been added to the Gobi product family deliver support for CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B, HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE with integrated backwards compatibility to HSPA and EV-DO.

This opens up an incredible amount of possibilities -- but let's not jump to conclusions. The Verizon iPhone 4 doesn't have a SIM slot so you can't activate it on a GSM carrier (like AT&T or T-Mobile) without some serious hacking.

Update: iFixIt hypothesizes that Apple didn't release the VeriPhone as a multi-band "world phone" because a CDMA-only phone supports two cellular frequency bands, while Apple supports five bands in the GSM version.

Apple hates multiple SKUs -- except when selling high-cap iOS devices -- and the MDM6600 is evidence of that. The inclusion of the Qualcomm chip is simply a preview of what's to come in the single-SKU iPhone 5 that we'll see this summer or fall.

Below is a full-size shot of the Verizon iPhone 4 main board, dozens more can be found at iFixit.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Mobility, Networking

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14 comments
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  • Ah...

    "Money shot"?
    Mac Hosehead
    • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

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  • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

    and that why not to be the first to jump into the "old" iphone on Verizon! But why would Verizon upset it customers with a phone that already more than 1/2 though it life cycle? I not sure they will merge until iPhone 6 or iPhone 5 may not come out for close to a year. Something just doesn't add up
    matt@...
    • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

      @matt@... How are they upsetting their customers? Pretty much everyone knows Apple's release cycle and expects something in June. If you are buying the iPhone 4 on Verizon right now (which a lot of people are doing) you know full well that there will be something coming in June. Nobody knows right now if it will be new hardware but those buying decided not to wait. They can't be upset with Verizon, it's all on them as they made the choice.
      non-biased
  • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

    Hmmm if they get the ihone down to $199.99 and let it be dual gsm and cdma unlocked without contract then it might be worth buying but as is the price the limited ability and the being only cdma or gsm its not worth the money as it cant compete with any android phone especially the upper models which are less exspensive and easily taken to other carriers.
    Fletchguy
    • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

      @Fletchguy And just how many Android devices are configured this way? NONE.
      athynz
    • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

      @Fletchguy That an how many are cheaper than the iPhone but can still compete with it. Not looking for your opinion on which can compete because I am guessing in your might anything not from Apple can simply because they are not from Apple. You might be able to save $20-$30 on a couple of but those that are truly competing with the iPhone are for the most part priced the same.
      non-biased
  • RE: Money shot: VeriPhone's new dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip

    So does this mean that my new Verizon Iphone could have a firmware upgrade to LTE?
    BDA123
    • No because MDM6600 doesnt support LTE

      @BDA123 The MDM9600 is the chipset that supports LTE
      otaddy
  • Seamless upgrade to LTE?

    Also awaiting reply to @BDA123 question. This is only 1/2 the story... "Verizon iPhone 4 doesn?t have a SIM slot so you can?t activate it on a GSM carrier".
    UnCommonCents
  • iPhone 5 Dual-Mode GSM/CDMA Apps Logs Launched [Details]

    Hi,
    You have create good article about iPhone 5 Dual-Mode.

    http://products.androidxiphone.com/iphone-5-dualmode-gsmcdma-apps-logs-launched-details/
    brttyking
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