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It’s becoming a bit like a B-movie monster that can’t be killed. We speak, of course, of the persistent rumors that a CDMA, Verizon-compatible iPhone is “coming soon.” But now, with only a week to go before the handset launches in the U.S. and a handful of international GSM carriers, a new report claims that a CDMA iPhone 4 is actually in production.
AppleInsider is reporting that not only does Apple indeed have a CDMA iPhone 4, but the handset is in production with a fourth quarter release this year. The news come courtesy of Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, who is reporting Thursday that Pegatron Technology has actually received orders from Apple for a CDMA iPhone 4, according to those ever-reliable industry sources.
"Pegatron will also start shipping a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 to Apple in the fourth quarter and is currently using its plants in Shanghai, China to produce the products, the sources noted," the report claims. "The company is also working on gaining orders for MacBooks and iPads from Apple."
Pegatron is a major Chinese manufacturer for a variety of consumer electronics, including both notebook and desktop computers as well as TV set-top boxes, cable modems, game consoles, LCD televisions, digital music players and e-book readers.
If this latest rumor sounds familiar, it’s because something similar was already reported back in March by The Wall Street Journal, who claimed that Apple was already hard at work on two variations of the iPhone 4 -- one for GSM carriers such as AT&T and most of the rest of the world, and a new model for CDMA carriers, who include both Verizon Wireless and Sprint here in the United States. The same WSJ report also named Pegatron as the manufacturer of the CDMA model.
DigiTimes reported last month that Pegatron had won the contract from Apple to produce a CDMA iPhone, prior to the device actually being announced on June 7 at WWDC 2010. Foxconn has built all of the previous iPhones, including the new iPhone 4, and also assembles Apple’s Mac mini, iPods and the iPad.
A CDMA iPhone is widely seen as being necessary for Apple to continue its smartphone dominance in the U.S., where the wireless market is fragmented into competing technologies. While T-Mobile is another GSM carrier here, their 3G service uses bandwidth that is incompatible with the existing iPhone, making them an unlikely partner until at least the next hardware refresh. That leaves only Verizon and Sprint (along with their subsidiaries), who are using the currently incompatible CDMA technology.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter