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Summary:

The lack of a Verizon iPhone has been costly for Apple, and it doesn’t look like the Mac maker wants to let that cost build up much longer. Sources have reported that Apple is aiming to put 3 million CDMA-only iPhones into production in December 2010.

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The lack of a Verizon iPhone was costly for Apple over the course of the last year, and it doesn’t look like the Mac maker wants to let that cost build up much longer. Sources from overseas suppliers have reported that Apple is aiming to put 3 million CDMA-only iPhones into production in December of 2010.

That kind of production time line would put the new Verizon iPhone on track for an early 2011 launch. Finally switching to Verizon could very well be your New Year’s resolution. Adding 3 million CDMA-only devices to their production queue would bring Apple’s total iPhone output for the quarter up to around 22 million units. Good numbers for a device with a crippling design flaw.

While I’m always happy to see Apple moving away from exclusivity in any market, part of me wonders if the company couldn’t just have made devices that are both CDMA and GSM-capable, like BlackBerry’s Tour. As the proud owner of a factory-unlocked iPhone 4 here in Canada, I enjoy being able to choose my service provider. Canadian cellular service providers all switched to GSM networks before the Vancouver Winter Olympics to ensure they’d see a chunk of the profits from the resulting European tourists, and also to ensure their networks could support the iPhone, since it was that much of a revenue star for Rogers, the original exclusive carrier.

Sure, a CDMA device provides choice for U.S. iPhone users, but it’s a choice that puts you on a single path until the device’s end-of-life. It means more money for Apple — as if they needed it — but less consumer freedom. Apple has been wresting control from carriers regarding contract details and pricing, and even network infrastructure in some countries.

A CDMA iPhone is a step backwards in that regard, and in a larger sense, maybe a bit of a loss for the average consumer, even though it’s a definite win in the short-term.

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  1. I just don’t believe that; CDMA is old and it’s only used in north america and a couple of countries in south america, it does not allow voice and data at the same time and that’s bad for Apple. Even Verizon already confirm they will adopt LTE as the next gen standard. LTE being GSM/UMTS next logical step, why bother making phones for just –mostly– the US.

    As for the design flaw… I have tried, and tried, and tried to recreate the “dead zone” grip in several ways and cannot get the phone to drop any bars, just one but only if I walk into the closet which is heavily shielded by concrete walls.

    I live in Mexico and my carrier is Telcel. I do have an unlocked iPhone 4 as well.

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    1. I would never want to spend that much money for a phone that could only be used on one carrier, period, until it died. I don’t know why people are screaming to be on Verizon. If I am going to be a device worth $1000 dollars, it’s one that will allow me some choice. That’s like buying a computer that will only work on one internet provider. No one would do it and my hat is off to this blogger for finally bringing up that point. Most bloggers here praise going to Verizon. I don’t get it. Do they even think about what they’re saying half the time?

      I live in México too and my carrier is Telcel. I have never had a problem with dropped calls but I cannot for the life of me get my hands on an iPhone 4. Every time I go to Telcel they “just ran out” and will have some “next week.” I don’t know how many times I will need to go back to upgrade my phone!

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  2. This article is exactly the kind of article I recently wrote to GigaOM about that makes the rest of GigaOM look bad.

    It’s not reasonable, well-thought-out, it’s too brief, and uses exaggerations which immediately turn the reader off. You quote two other articles you’ve written which are themselves flawed when you mention “costly for Apple” and “crippling design flaw” which mischaracterize and oversimplify.

    When you say “part of me wonders if the company couldn’t just have made devices that are both CDMA and GSM-capable” you are telling knowledgeable readers that you’re not up on the history of how the iPhone came into existence and the dynamics of the carrier plays that had to happen in order for Apple to rewrite some of the rules.

    And because of my intimate knowledge of the complexities of the mobile marketplace, this article makes me NOT want subscribe to GigaOM Pro because I would suspect that it would be more of the same.

    You also make comments in two of your articles which seem contradictory, probably the result of writing too quickly. And the “less consumer freedom” phrase above really confused me.

    Finally, your article’s TITLE made me visit this page to find out what evidence there is that a Verizon phone is coming. There is just one sentence that makes an oblique reference to “sources from overseas suppliers” and that’s it. The rest of the article discusses something else.

    Just because you write for GigaOM does not automatically mean you’re an expert or a good writer, but I wish it did. You need to impress your readers with reasonable language and identify the unknowns and complex dynamics which gets readers to respect what you have to say, right?

    I’m really disappointed and upset. And I dislike being emotional. But misinformation and mischaracterization is bothersome. I wouldn’t be so upset if this was article was within “Darrell’s Corner” or something like that.

    Of course, you’re free to write whatever you want, AND your readers are free to let you know they found it less than informative, enlightening or clarifying, and it may reflect on GigaOM in general.

    If I didn’t care about GigaOM and wish that the quality of tech blog writing would somehow be consistently elevated above the unfortunate norm, I wouldn’t have bothered to leave this comment.

    Mark

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  3. You don’t know if the CDMA phonemic for verizon, south America, or the biggestarket on the world — china!

    You also don’t know that the CDMA compatible iPhone isn’t both gsm and CDMA . You don’t really know anything beyond one rumor from some unnamed supplier that could be completely false. This is the basis of an article? Fool me once…

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    1. Exactly, this phone is made for the Chinese Market.

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