A while back, we asked the question ‘Will the iPhone 5 be a dual GSM/CDMA world phone?’. Thanks to 9to5Mac in collaboration with iFixYouri, that question appears to have been answered and, in addition, more info about changes to the Verizon iPhone handset have appeared. They performed a teardown of the recently released Verizon iPhone and found that the handset incorporated a Qualcomm MDM6600 GSM / CDMA chip compatible with both of the networks. Unfortunately, the Verizon iPhone does not have any space for a SIM card and therefore cannot be used on a GSM network.
However, this means that it is likely the iPhone 5 will utilize the same chipset and, should Apple release a single handset with a SIM card slot, users could then use their handset in pretty much any country worldwide. In addition, the iPad 2 could also potentially also include the same chip in the 3G compatible versions of the device.
Sadly, due to network restrictions and the exorbitant early termination fees charged by US carriers, people are probably not going to be using their GSM / CDMA iPhone 5 to flip between carriers. However, Qualcomm were also rumored to be working on hybrid chips that compatibility for up to ten different radio frequencies, compared to the current iPhone design which offers five. If Qualcomm chips continue to be used in the iPhone 5, this could then see the iPhone opened up to other carriers in the US such as T-Mobile which uses a frequency that is currently incompatible with the iPhone.
I wonder if it would be possible to have a Verizon data plan combined with an AT&T voice plan? Just a thought.