Verizon iPhone teardown reveals dual-mode GSM-CDMA potential, sparks ‘world phone’ iPhone 5 talk

verizon_iphone_qualcomm_GSM_CDMA_world_phoneTeardowns of the soon-to-be-released Verizon iPhone 4 shows promising signs that  a “world phone” iPhone could soon be on the way. The giveaway is Apple’s use of a Qualcomm chip that is both GSM- and CMDA-compatible.

Inside, it’s been discovered that the Verizon iPhone is, surprisingly, powered by a Qualcomm MDM6600 chip. The reason this is significant is, this particular chip is dualmode GSM and CDMA compatible. This means that, potentially, an iPhone 5 loaded with this chip could work on any network, worldwide — including AT&T.

Teardowns by iFixit, iFixYouri/9to5Mac, and UBM TechInsights have all confirmed the existence “world mode” chip.

The MDM6600 chip — which has never before been used by Apple — is the same chip used in the Droid Pro world phone, which is capable of connecting to both GSM and CDMA networks.

As Seth Weintraub at 9to5Mac notes, however, the lack of a SIM card slot on the Verizon iPhone means it “won’t be doing GSM duties.” It does, however, basically guarantee “that the iPhone 5 will be dual-mode, perhaps one phone that can be used on both Verizon and AT&T (and obviously every other carrier outside the US),” writes Weintraub.

According to Qualcomm, the MDM6600 chip supports HSPA+ with download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps, and EV-DO rev B up to 14.7 Mbps.

Other notable changes revealed in the iFixit teardown include:

•  Antenna: The Verizon iPhone “has four antenna segments (two “U” shaped pieces at the top and bottom, and two straight bars along the edge),” instead of the “three differently shaped antennas” on the AT&T iPhone 4. Of course, iFixit notes, “[o]nly time will tell if this new antenna design helps combat the reception problems plaguing the GSM iPhone 4.”

• Battery: After removing a series of tiny Pentalobe screws, and the phone’s back cover, “the battery is very easy to replace,” says iFixit.

•  Vibrator: According to iFixit, the Verizon iPhone’s vibrator “received a complete makeover.” In place of a rotating counterweight, the Verizon version uses a linear oscillating vibrator to give it its shake.

• Chip set: In addition to the Qualcomm MDM6600, Apple has packed its A4 chip, as well as a touchscreen controller chip by Texas Instruments.

So there you have it: Apple could, if it so chooses, quickly and easily modify the Verizon iPhone 4 to become a “world phone” iPhone 5. (All it really needs is a SIM card slot.) That’s not to say Apple will do so, however. So we’ll believe it when we see it.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

Protect your new iPhone with one of our favorite iPhone XR cases

Apple's new iPhone range is the toast of 2018, with beautiful style and more power than you can shake a stick at. But beauty can often be fragile -- keep the damage to a minimum with the best iPhone XR cases.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

The best weather apps for the iPhone

Don't rely solely on your local meteorologist to stay up to date on the weather. Take matters into your own hands with one of these weather apps, each of which brings something unique to the table.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Pick up a pair of Apple AirPods alternatives for less than $50

Apple AirPods are some of the most sought-after wireless earbuds, but they certainly aren't cheap. Luckily, Walmart and Amazon both have some great Apple AirPod alternatives for sale, and you can still get them before Christmas.

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Need a last-minute gift? Get an iPhone Wireless Charger for under $20

Whether you're looking for stocking stuffers or gift ideas, these deals from Mophie, Anker, and Yootech can get you a wireless charging pad for cheap. Don't settle for wired charging if you don't have to.

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.