The next iPhone from Apple will be a “global device” according to comments made by Verizon CFO Fran Shammo during the carrier’s conference call to discuss its quarterly results. Shammo’s remarks indicated that Apple’s next iPhone will be a dual-mode phone capable of both GSM and CDMA connectivity. Currently, the iPhone 4 comes in two distinct flavors, one for each network protocol.
Shammo’s statement regarding the next iPhone came when he was asked about slow average revenue per unit growth during the quarter, which saw the introduction of the iPhone. His exact words, as per Barron’s :
The fluctuation, I believe, will come when a new device from Apple is launched, whenever that may be, and that we will be, on the first time, on equal footing with our competitors on a new phone hitting the market, which will also be a global device.
Currently, the iPhone 4 used on the Verizon network sports a Qualcomm world-mode chip that’s technically capable of doing dual-mode duty, but the device lacks a SIM card slot, and the antenna design used appears to be optimized for CDMA-only use. The iPad 2, likewise, uses the same chip but features different, network-specific antenna designs for both the CDMA and the GSM versions.
Aside from the “global device” mention, also note that Shammo is careful to say “whenever that may be” when talking about the next iPhone’s potential launch window. It’s funny that Shammo would be so careful to sidestep the sensitive topic of when the new iPhone will arrive (recent rumors suggest a September launch) but makes an arguably bigger blunder around the iPhone’s unannounced capabilities. Whenever it arrives, I hope it’s indeed a world phone, since that will make it much easier for all iPhone owners to use their devices abroad, and to resell the smartphone when the time comes to upgrade.