Verizon iPhone 4 teardown shows GSM-compatible chip

iFixit is in the process of completing its teardown of the Verizon iPhone 4, and has found several curious differences between it and the GSM model. Most notably, the Qualcomm MDM6600 cellular communications chip inside the new handset—the same as found inside the Droid Pro world phone—is capable of handling both HSPA+ data rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B, meaning that it is technically able to support both the CDMA2000 and GSM standards, although the phone obviously has no SIM card slot. The absence of a SIM card slot precludes the device from being used primarily on a GSM network; the report suggests that the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 lacks the necessary antennas required to operate on GSM networks, although this has yet to be independently confirmed.

Interestingly, the MDM6600 was introduced alongside several other “Gobi” chips, including the MDM9600, which could allow a future iPhone model to support LTE data rates of up to 100 Mbps and backward compatibility with both dual carrier HSPA+ and EV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B networks. Apple has moved and completely redesigned the vibration motor, found in the upper corner of the GSM model, but in the lower left hand corner in the CDMA version, and while the battery of the CDMA model is listed as having the same 5.25 watt-hour capacity as its predecessor, it carries a different model number and weighs slightly less—25.6 grams versus the GSM version’s 26.9 grams. We will update this story should iFixit’s teardown reveal any other noteworthy changes.

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