Apple readies hybrid iPhone, report says

The iPhone could go truly global next year with support for both UMTS and CDMA networking.

A new report from OTR Global says Apple plans to release a UMTS/CDMA hybrid iPhone in the third quarter of 2010. If true, the new iPhone will play nice with Verizon's network and spell an end to AT&T's exclusivity contract in the U.S. -- which is already slated to end sometime next year.

The report also notes the new phone has a 2.8-inch screen and smaller body, which is consistent with photos that surfaced on iLounge last June. The device would be manufactured by Taiwan-based Asustek subsidiary Pegatron.

A "worldmode" iPhone would be a colossal win for Apple. The device could support any major carrier worldwide. Apple wouldn't need to sell different versions of the iPhone to support different networks, and would most likely see a huge increase in sales.

This news could be bad for AT&T, which has been snubbed by Apple and users alike for poor coverage, dropped calls, delayed MMS support, and lack of tethering.

The OTR report says Verizon and Apple have already reached an agreement to sell the new iPhone next year, despite Verizon's recent advertising attacks on the iPhone.

Of course, switching to Verizon might solve some issues with poor coverage and dropped calls, but users might have to fork out an additional $30 a month for a 5GB monthly "unlimited" tethering plan and $15 a month for exchange service.

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Paul Suarez

PC World (US online)
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