Even as Verizon (s vz) continues attacking AT&T’s (s att) comparatively poor network with new ads, and by proxy the iPhone, the latest rumor has Apple developing a “worldmode” iPhone capable of running on any network.
The three holiday-themed ads, “Blue Christmas,” “Elves,” and “Misfit Toys,” each highlight the weakness of AT&T’s 3G wireless coverage, but the latter most directly and hilariously attacks the iPhone. Paying homage to the Rankin/Bass animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a familiar-looking device shows up on the Island of Misfit Toys, the place where defective toys are exiled. When the misfits ask why such a great toy that can download apps and browse the web is there, the familiar lackluster coverage map pops up.
The message of each commercial is the same: bad networks ruin even a great phone. AppleInsider is now reporting that perhaps Apple feels the same way, and is preparing to do something about it.
Based on a report from research firm OTR Global “citing sources in the Taiwan handset supply chain,” the hybrid iPhone will use a new chip from Qualcomm allowing it to function on both CDMA and GSM networks. The hybrid iPhone will be available in the third quarter of 2010, which makes sense, as previous reporting puts the end of AT&T’s exclusivity agreement in 2010. Unfortunately, things stop making sense right there.
The research note also states the new iPhone has a 2.8″ screen, compared to 3.5″ for current iPhones. AppleInsider notes rumors from last year about an iPhone with a smaller screen, which turned out to be false, at least at the time. However, there is another possibility besides a smaller iPhone, that being a smaller iPhone.
What seems more likely at this stage of iPhone development, a major redesign of the existing model or the addition of an iPhone nano? Looking back at the history of the iPod would suggest the latter. Following Palm’s lead with its second webOS phone, the Pixi, Apple could even leave out Wi-Fi to further differentiate the iPhone nano from the iPhone. Actually, a smartphone without Wi-Fi in 2009 would belong on the Island of Misfit Toys, so scratch that, but a “free” iPhone nano under contract would undoubtedly find its way under many a tree this year.