Our friends over at iFixIt have analyzed all iPad models – a whoping eighteen different units – to pinpoint the differences between WiFi-only, 3G GSM and CDMA versions of the tablet. Like a CDMA version of iPhone 4 designed for the Verizon Wireless network, the Verizon iPad also has an additional antenna and an integrated GPS receiver. On the GSM iPad positioning is provided by a Broadcom chip. More interesting than that is Apple’s choice of baseband circuitry for Verizon and AT&T models.

Again, like the Verizon Phone 4 the new CDMA version of iPad 2 runs a Gobi chipset, the Qualcomm MDM6600. It’s compatible with both GSM and CDMA, supporting HSPA+ data rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B. The similarities between CDMA iPhone 4 and iPad 2 don’t stop there: Both devices pack in Toshiba Y890A111222KA, Qualcomm PM8028 Power Management IC and power amplifier modules the Skyworks 77711 and 77710. Continue reading for key takeaways that caught our attention…

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What’s really curious is that the 3G version of iPad 2 has the older Infineon 337Se833 baseband chip rather than a dual-mode Gobi chip found inside the CDMA iPad 2, just like CDMA iPhone 4 versus GSM iPhone 4.

The Infineon transceiver is older technology compared to the Qualcomm MDM6600. It’s doesn’t make sense not to use the newer, dual-mode, GSM worldphone compatible Gobi silicon across all iPad 2 and iPhone 4 models. This is very unlike Apple, the company that likes to keep things simple.

Maybe it was a supply issue or an engineering decision designed to cut costs a bit on the AT&T version.

There’s a pattern here: The Infineon chip for GSM iPhone 4 and iPad 2 and the newer Gobi silicon for the CDMA iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Makes you wonder whether this practice will continue with iPhone 5 unless, of course, it’ll be Apple’s first-ever 4G LTE device. Your guess is as good as ours so feel free to chime in in the comments.

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