The iPhone's transition to the Verizon network came with some hardware changes, some of which point to the direction Apple may be aiming to go with both the iPad 2 and iPhone 5.
In the Verizon iPhone's is the Qualcomm MDM6600 chip, whose inclusion might indicate the direction Apple may take with future devices. The same chip as is available in Motorola's Droid Pro world-phone, it supports both CDMA and GSM standards.
IFixit CEO Kyle Wiens says this could be significant. With this technology, future iterations of both the iPhone and iPad would be compatible with the networks of both AT&T and Verizon, which would significantly reduce the complexity of Apple's supply chain. It's more expensive for Apple to have two different models of this phone than you would think, Wiens said. This chip allows you to design a phone that will work on both the AT&T and Verizon networks without having a different model, Wiens said. As far as I know this is the only chip available that would let them do that.
Wiens adds that the Verizon iPhone 4 is a more significant departure from its predecessor than it seems at first glance. Internally, this phone is a completely different redesign than the AT&T model, he said. We were really surprised at how different it was.
The SIM card slot, for example, is now gone, an unsurprising move in light of Apple's move to a CDMA network (AT&T uses GSM). There were also changes made to the iPhone 4's antenna design, which reflects the shift in networks. Wiens says the change in antennas could be in response to complaints that holding the phone a certain way caused signals to drop, though he adds that it is difficult to prove.
Apple also altered the design of the iPhone 4's internal vibrator, redesigning the component so that quieter and better-sounding, according to iFixit.
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