NEW YORK—Apple Inc. is planning to expand the hugely popular iPhone to Verizon Wireless, according to a Wall Street Journal report Monday that cited unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s manufacturing process.
According to the Journal, Apple will debut two new iPhone models, one a CDMA model destined to run on Verizon Wireless—a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and U.K.’s Vodafone, Plc—and the other a fourth-generation iPhone for AT&T Wireless. AT&T currently is the only U.S. wireless provider to offer the iPhone.
The iPhones will be manufactured by different companies, the Journal says. Pegtron, a China-based cell phone maker, will develop the Verizon-based device. Producer of the current AT&T iPhone, Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., will develop the new AT&T-based phone.
The CDMA version of the iPhone will not use a SIM card. Verizon and Sprint are two major U.S. carriers that use the wireless technology. AT&T and T-Mobile USA are GSM-based carriers.
Apple has been long rumored to be developing a CDMA-version of the iPhone. The future of the smartphone has been under much speculation after its recent launch of the iPad device.
AT&T is currently the market leader in smartphones in the United States, mainly because of its monopoly in distributing the iPhone. In the fourth quarter of 2009, 3.1 million new iPhones were sold in the United States.
San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. holds patent rights to developing CDMA cell phone technology, and is the market leader in CDMA-based cell phone chips.