Rumors are coming fast and furious today citing unnamed tipsters that Apple is hard at work hammering out a CDMA iPhone
for its friends at Verizon to be announced and released next year, the carrier it had initially approached
about carrying the device back in 2005. Way we see it, though, 2009 ain't 2005; Apple's wielding boatloads more power in the wireless biz than it was before the first model launched, the industry's economics have changed, and technology roadmaps have been rewritten.
So why isn't this happening, exactly? First, Apple appears to be having no trouble finding enough customers (carriers, that is) to keep iPhone 3G production at a nice clip. Second, CDMA
represents a minute fraction of the world's mobile customer base that GSM
does -- no matter how big Verizon, Sprint, Telus, Bell, KDDI au, and the remaining CDMA stalwarts may be. Third, CDMA is a dying technology that will be finished off in the early part of the next decade as networks make the migration to LTE
and other 4G platforms. Fourth, we have to believe Apple would sooner pour its engineering efforts into advancing the iPhone platform in the same direction as the world's networks than divert considerable resources to busting out a one-off special.
Might this mythical CDMA iPhone yet exist? Yeah, Verizon's a huge carrier, and yes, stranger things have happened -- but until Steve and Ivan
get on stage together at Macworld 2009, we're not buying it.