Apple Could Launch CDMA-iPhone Without Verizon

Apple could launch CDMA iPhone without Verizon

Will a CDMA-iPhone ever see the light of the day? Rumors about Apple partnering with Verizon in the launch of a new CDMA iPhone have been floating around for a long time. 

In fact, Verizon was supposedly the first carrier Apple spoke to and the agreement with AT&T happened only after discussions with Verizon fell apart due to disagreements over pricing.

The situation it appears, has not changed much since then. After fresh speculations over a Verizon-Apple partnership appeared late last year, it appears that the discussions had not moved forward yet again due to pricing issues 

In a note to investors, Maynard Um of UBS Investment Research has said that while a new CDMA-iPhone is definitely in the works for a mid-2010 release, doubts remain about Verizon partnering in the launch. Um says that in that scenario, the CDMA iPhone could make its debut in countries like Japan and China where Apple could be partnering with local CDMA networks.

While Um's statements are interesting, they are not exactly new. Last November, we heard reports of possible agreements signed between Apple and Taiwanese manufacturer Pegatron for the manufacture of hybrid iPhones – devices that will work on both CDMA2000 as well as UMTS 3G networks. These handsets were rumored to launch in Q3 2010. While Verizon is said to have expressed interest in partnering with Apple on this initiative, the problem it appears is because Apple has not relented to Verizon's pricing demands so far.

Apparently, this is also the reason why Verizon had opted to partner with Android devices like the Motorola Droid which are much more open. Folks at AppleInsider note that the average selling price of an iPhone is close to $700 while that of Motorola Droid is only around $450. This stands to explain the subsidy that AT&T has been offering to Apple on iPhones, something that Verizon is least likely to emulate. 

Sprint, which is the other major CDMA network in the country has not been part of any of the rumors so far and it would be interesting if Apple is considering Sprint as a likely partner in its CDMA-iPhone launch. What do you think? Would you like to see a CDMA iPhone coming to Sprint this fall? Tell us your views in the comments. 

[via Apple Insider]