Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rumours about CDMA iPhone? not really...

There are rumours about a CDMA iPhone since many years. Everyone seems to have the magic crystal ball to predict the future. Verizon most likely would like to see a CDMA iPhone so they can be part of the hype. Fact is that outside USA, there are only very few countries using CDMA at all. So in the eyes of a global player like Apple, it doesn't make too much sense to support CDMA as they would limit their market. More likely would be a dual standard phone (technically complex to deal with) or a next generation phone supporting LTE which basically replaces GSM/UMTS/3G and CDMA. But the LTE networks are not quite ready yet so thats a far reach.

Some bloggers however think they can fool the people and create a hype. They try to show off that they are first in line to know all the facts but in fact they are simply guessing and making up stories. I can show you an typical example:

Boy Genious shows the so famous iPhone CDMA here:

However if you look at

you find highres pictures of exactly the same hand and iPhone. If you put both pictures on top of each other and create a difference, you can see what has been changed:

As you can see, the only change was a change of resolution, the removal of the screwdriver (however the front piece of it is still seen) and the addition of a MEID-HEX sticker. This looks like the IMEI sticker on GSM phones. As I never had a CDMA phone (useless in europe) I can only guess this MEID is the mobile phone device id which is programmed into the device versus the SIM card.

Fact is, the picture is 100% fabricated. Fact is that website has no clue if there will be a CDMA iPhone or not.

PS: a small note about Richy Rich's post

showing some pictures about a debug version of the device apparently being "proof" of the first post by boygenious which is as stated above a fake. So proving something which is obviously fake by showing serious looking debug log pictures is ridiculous. Here's why:

If its a late stage debug unit it would for sure be seamless without a debug console
Even the iPhone first generation had a built in GSM debug menu which can be enabled by some *...# from the keyboard (many phones have that). Given the iPhone has no terminal application or "console" visible to the end user, it would make a lot of sense to put such debug information into a normal iPhone application. The GSM debug menu did show things like signal strenth, celltower Id and the like. This stuff is shown in a normal iPhone table view. Why in hell would any apple engineer for a CDMA phone go off and create an ugly terminal window to show similar CDMA stuff while there's already a built in viewer for such things. Doesn't make any sense to me. Early stage units which could have booting issues maybe could have such a console view but after all the iOS part of a possible CDMA iPhone would be 99% the same as the GSM counterpart as the CDMA or GSM modem parts run in their own respective CPU. In other words the only difference in iOS would be it would download a CDMA firmware instead of a GSM firmware and it would maybe use a few different AT command when talking to the baseband CPU. Debug logs (in case of crashes of the GSM modem) usually appear when synching but never would appear in such a weird terminal window. It just does not make sense to me.

Conclusion: Richy Rich simply wrote a small application to display nice looking text on a iPhone to say what he wants to say and made a picture of it. Now this strange SIM card slot on a pseudo CDMA device makes sense again, isn't it?

What worries more is that everyone seems to take it for granted if some nobody publishes something which all Verizon customers would love to see.