Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is iPhone Getting GSM/CDMA Chip?

The iPhone's ability to make telecom issues become mainstream topics is extraordinarily. The most recent topic is whether the iPhone 5 will incorporate a GSM/CDMA chip that would enable users to choose their carrier of choice. A source recently suggested that Apple had chosen Qualcomm over Infineon for that reason. Most recently, AppleInsider reports that an Italian hacker has found proof of Qualcomm baseband chip support in the iTunes software.

There was a debate regarding multi-mode chips a year or two ago, of the kind that would support all kinds of networks and frequencies. Ever since that debate, Apple fans that was waiting for a Verizon iPhone put their faith in such a chip. It recently turned out that while the Web was debating multi-mode chips, Apple and Verizon Wireless were busy building the Verizon iPhone with a common chip.

The Verizon iPhone will be released on February 10. Could the iPhone 5 with a multi-mode chip as described above be released a few months later? Most likely not. How about a dual-mode GSM/CDMA chip with frequency support for all American carriers then? Well, T-Mobile recently said that while they wanted to offer the iPhone, they weren't going to get it anytime soon.

Of course, that either means the iPhone 5 will not support T-Mobile's AWS 1700 MHz frequency for HSPA+ connectivity, or it means that it will, but T-Mobile didn't want to spill the beans too early. Sprint recently had no comment when asked whether they would soon offer the iPhone.

However, while some Apple fans think that the company they love above anything else will somehow shake up the U.S. telecom industry in a way Google didn't, the reality is that the iPhone has had the opposite effect. It's the ultimate tool for carriers to maintain order in the masses.

So, if you are an Apple fan, you should desire a 4G-equipped iPhone 5 above anything else, because regardless of what kind of chips it has, it's not going to give you more freedom.

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