CDMA iPhone being tested, includes SIM card slot?
According to a recent unconfirmed report, the CDMA iPhone, dubbed “iPhone 3,2” is currently in “field test stage” and, surprisingly enough, includes a SIM card slot.
What does this mean exactly? Certainly easier production lines for Apple. And, perhaps future iPhones will be able to use whatever carrier they want. The addition of a SIM card slot would also make this new iPhone better for global roaming, where you can just buy a new SIM card for the local service (although a US purchased iPhone will need to unlock still).
The report comes from BoyGeniusReport.com:
The iPhone 3,2 could be the mythical CDMA + GSM/HSPA device that would support Verizon, AT&T, and the other current worldwide iPhone 4 carriers frequencies. The mid-cycle refresh would bring an updated antenna design for the current iPhone 4 and bring CDMA-compatibility; essentially, Verizon Wireless subscribers would have the same device as AT&T subscribers.
BGR has a reasonably accurate history of leaks and news, but like always this is just a rumor so take the information with a grain of salt. The debate is really about whether or not the upcoming CDMA iPhone will include a SIM card slot, nearly everyone agrees that the iPhone will be available on Verizon soon. Recent reports from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times suggest the Verizon iPhone release date is rapidly approaching, with the most reliable sources saying it may arrive as early as January of 2011.
The BGR report also indicates that the next iPhone 5 is currently in engineering verification phase. Most analysts expect an update to the iPhone 4 before the appearance of iPhone 5.
The SIM card is to support Verizon’s new 4G “LTE” network, which uses GSM! :)
Nice catch, I bet you are right!
Of course it would make production easier (read as cheaper), but the carrier agreements in the USA are too cumbersome and controlling to allow this.
Every phone is sold locked for a reason, you have to pay exorbitant fees to break a contract if you want to go for competing service. It’s a financial disincentive to prevent shopping around within the marketplace. This is by design, it’s to prevent the US consumer from having true free market choices like you get in the EU. You don’t like your service? Tough it out or pay a $300 fine to leave.
I bet you there is some truth to this report, but it will only apply overseas in Europe and China. The USA will be locked down to carrier shackles for many years to come.
This is VERY noncompetitive and it’s rather shocking to be such a staple of the US wireless industry in a supposedly free market society.
What this really shows you is the power of industry through lobbyists, Google’s CEO touched on this recently:
“The average American doesn’t realize how much of the laws are written by lobbyists” to protect incumbent interests, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Atlantic editor James Bennet at the Washington Ideas Forum. “It’s shocking how the system actually works.”
Contract free unlocked phones able to bridge across networks and carriers? Won’t happen in the USA.
I think you make several valid points.
I am rather frustrated with having to unlock my phone to use it elsewhere when traveling in particular, but I do not see this changing anytime soon.