Verizon iPhone tear-down -- could have been a world phone!

Verizon iPhone tear-down -- could have been a world phone!

The fine folks at iFixit have already torn down the new Verizon iPhone and while there's a lot that hasn't changed and some changes we knew about, the biggest shocker so far is that Apple used the Qualcomm MDM6600 chipset which supports both Verizon's CDMA/EVDO and AT&T's GSM/HSPA+ -- but the GSM part isn't enabled:

  • This is the same chipset as the Droid Pro world phone. It supports both GSM and CDMA—which means that Apple could have supported GSM!

  • Why didn't they? It may be that it was easier to design antennas for a CDMA-only phone-this phone supports two cellular frequency bands, while Apple supports five bands in the GSM version.

Most of the rest of the Verizon iPhone is the same as the AT&T/GSM iPhone, though the model numbers of some parts have been slightly incremented. Also noteworthy, however, is that the vibration motor has received a "complete makeover".

My tester said that the "Verizon vibration was quieter, a little softer to feel, and made a better sound on the table." (No, I'm not making a 'That's what she said' joke.) It used to be in the top right portion of the phone, across from the camera. Now it's on the bottom left. It's the silver circle bottom left in this photo:

If you want to watch iFixit tear into the Verizon iPhone, hit the link below. Anyone else disappointed Apple couldn't make a world phone work yet?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Verizon iPhone tear-down -- could have been a world phone!


Omg. We get it already. You don't like Verizon. STFU about it already and die a slow death.

Agree at&t doesnt deserve the iphone at all. I mean atleast verizon actually puts money to increase their network and make it even better than it already is. What did at&t do to help its network when it was struggling with the iphone? Exactly yo mama you are an idiot

Yes, but AT&T and/or Verizon might not agree. They prefer to keep the carrier change process as difficult as possible (i.e., contract period, carrier-locked phones, and you need to buy a new phone if you wish to change carrier).

This is just setting up for the iPhone 5. When it comes out, they'll enable GSM and sell the remaining iPhone 4 inventory as a world phone along with the iPhone 5 (like they're doing with the 3GS now). Now they just have to sell out of GSM iPhones before June

Remember no sim slot on the verizon version so they can't simply enable the gsm bit to make a world phone. Still requires a redesign

I remember seeing a video on YouTube that showed a possible "iPhone 5" antenna frame. It had the same exact design as the iPhone 4 for Verizon, except it had a SIM slot.

so what youre saying is that... the VERZION phone is better. better qualcomm chip..better vibrating motor. only the best for the best phone company in america. TRUTH ask steve jobs. we take quality over talking and surfing the net at the sametime BAHAHA

And now the mother of all questions, which iPhone will Steve jobs or apple for that matter, will use as their personal phone??

First of all people on this blog take this way to seriously, haha, like ok verizon didn't deserve the iPhone probably because I would say you can't multitask as good as you can on AT&T but at the same time AT&T has worse service than verizon so it's a double edged sword if you get down to it.