Sprint and Verizon won’t support simultaneous voice and data on iPhone 5

Unlike Verizon’s lineup of LTE Android smartphones, we just confirmed with the carrier that the new iPhone 5 would not support simultaneous voice and data over its LTE network.

A Verizon spokesperson told us:

“The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the Verizon Wireless network, while simultaneously letting customers access the Internet over the WiFi.”

We confirmed with AT&T, however, that the feature will work on its GSM model of the iPhone 5. AT&T told us:

“AT&T customers can talk and surf simultaneously on the new iPhone 5.”

We know Apple is shipping the same CDMA model iPhone 5 to both Sprint and Verizon, so it is probable that Sprint’s iPhone 5 will not support simultaneous voice and data as well.

Some Android devices do simultaneous voice and data on Verizon, so it is probably Apple’s baseband processor choice that led to the situation.

Update: According to the New York Times, the change is due to Apple. An Apple spokesperson explained:

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200,000 pre-orders later, China Telecom’s 130 million CDMA customers get access to the iPhone 4S today


image via M.I.C. Gadget

Sina Tech reports that CDMA iPhone 4S’s are being snapped up by its 130 million mobile subscribers today after the No. 2 player in the world’s largest mobile market recieved 200,000 pre-orders (and counting) starting last week.

We previously noted that the iPhone 4S on China Telecom would be available in every configuration: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The phone will start at “free” with a contract. China Telecom received its license to sell the iPhone in January. China Telecom officially announced it would begin selling the iPhone 4S last month.

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For those who travel internationally, a SIM unlocked iPhone from Verizon or Sprint may be the answer

Owning up to its ‘Worldphone’ capabilities, Macworld got the SIM unlock policies from Verizon and Sprint which may make the CDMA phone more attractive than one from AT&T that is SIM-locked.

But there’s a new wrinkle that potentially makes the international-roaming experience better on Sprint and Verizon iPhones than it is on AT&T. Sprint plans to sell the iPhone 4S with its micro-SIM slot unlocked; Verizon’s will be initially locked, but if you’ve been a customer in good standing for 60 days, you can call Verizon and ask for an “international unlock.” (A Verizon spokesperson told me that this is Verizon’s standard policy for all world phones—it’s just the first time it’s manifested itself on an iPhone.)

That’s interesting because for instance the Verizon Droid II Worldphone comes with a locked Vodafone (Verizon’s half parent company) SIM card. If you travel overseas you cannot exchange a local carrier’s SIM, you have to use Vodafone. Verizon may unlock these but it was my understanding that it was up to their discretion. Their policy might be two months old now but that could change on a whim (plus, what is “good standing” – seems shady).

AT&T of course won’t let you put in a local carrier’s SIM card and will charge you their high rates for roaming (though they’ve come down a bit over the past year).

When added to Sprint’s unlimited data plans, ol’ Yellow is looking pretty good, especially for those who travel internationally.

Update: Sprint refuted this claim to Ars Technica and says you will get a Sprint SIM and be charged Sprint Roaming charges, like AT&T.

iPhone 4S will be faster only on AT&T, unlimited on Sprint, but maybe not interchangeable

Today’s iPhone 4S launch, while bringing a consolidated single phone to three US carriers, also presents some complexities. Some observations:

  1. Probably obvious to some: The 14.4 speed increase is only on AT&T where that speed is actually available. Verizon and Sprint will continue to be at their same 3G speeds. They will also continue to have other CDMA limitations like being cut off of data when talking.
  2. If you buy a Verizon iPhone 4S, you may not be able to head across the street to Sprint with your phone. And vice versa. Phone companies lock their devices so that you can’t move carriers as easy and it appears at first glance that the iPhone 4S won’t be an exception.
  3. IF you have a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4S, you likely will still be able to stick an international SIM card in your phone while travelling. However, will AT&T work in a VZ or Sprint iPhone? Unlikely.
  4. Sprint is also getting the iPhone 4 but AT&T still has an exclusive on the iPhone 3GS in the US. If you factor in the costs of owning a phone for two years, the $100-200 saved up front is a drop in the bucket.
  5. Sprint is the only US carrier offering truly unlimited data plans. From personal experience, Sprint offers great data connectivity, especially in big cities. It will be interesting to see how that network holds up as 30 million iPhones get onto Sprint’s network over the next four years.

Another poll for US iPhone users…

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iPhone 4S with iPhone 4 design, dual-mode capability leaked by iTunes

While we have independently been expecting the new iPhone to feature little exterior differences from the iPhone 4, there still has been some debate over the new iPhone’s design. Today, rumors of a re-design can essentially be put to rest. Inside the latest iTunes beta is a specific mention of the “iPhone 4S.” Along with the new iPhone name of “iPhone 4S” comes an image, and it is of a CDMA iPhone 4.

Unless Apple still has the CDMA iPhone 4 as a placeholder image until the new iPhone is announced, we’re fairly confident that the iPhone 4S will pack the CDMA iPhone design. iTunes only holds two iPhone 4S references: black and white versus the four iPhone 4 references of black/GSM, black/CDMA, white/GSM, and white/CDMA. This may also confirm the rumors of the new iPhone being a dual-mode/CDMA + GSM handset.

iPhone 4S confirmed as N94 (iPhone 4,1) that showed up in Apple’s inventory system:

The new iPhone will likely feature the dual-core A5 processor from the iPad 2, and eight megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, Nuance-based speech-to-text Dictation, and the breakthrough Assistant feature based on Apple’s purchase of Siri. Everything you need to know can be read here.

Thanks, Ron!

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Foxconn is already producing 150,000 iPhone 5s/day, 2nd supplier Pegatron won’t begin until 2012?

Somewhere in China there are stacks of millions of completed iPhone 5s.

Digitimes is reporting that iPhone 5 production is at full swing with 150,000 of the devices being produced per day. That isn’t quite the “volume” production level that Apple expects as it gets ready to release its phone for the holiday shopping season, however.

Lens maker Largan Precision, touch panel maker TPK Holding, reinforced glass supplier G-Tech Optoelectronics and battery vendors Simplo and Dynapack are all operating at full swing currently, the sources indicated.

We’ve also heard recently that these iPhones aren’t being boxed up just yet as Apple is finalizing the iOS 5 build that will eventually go on these iPhones.

Shipments of iPhone 5 from the supply chain are expected to reach 5-6 million in September but will then ramp up to over 22 million units in the fourth quarter as suppliers will ship fewer iPhone 4 and CDMA-version iPhones during the final quarter of the year, noted the sources.

Apple’s other manufacturing partner, Pegatron, is said to be holding off on production until 2012 and is expected to only build 15% of the devices overall.
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Purported iPhone 4S antenna band compared to GSM and CDMA iPhone 4

Here’s something interesting that appeared in our inbox this evening. According to our tipster SulfoDK, the middle iPhone antenna below will be the new ‘iPhone 4S’ antenna band. It appears to simply be the current CDMA antenna with a SIM card tray cut out in a similar spot as the GSM iPhone 4 (and as such could be faked or prototyped fairly easily). With the amount of advertising on these images and the easy in which it could be faked, we are wary.

But the idea works out on some levels and here’s why: If Apple were to build only one ‘iPhone 4S’ for 2011-2012 season, they could sell what is basically the Verizon iPhone 4 with its worldphone Gobi chip and an added SIM tray to every carrier. It would make sense to keep that overall same antenna design since it already works well on Verizon. Earlier cases seem to indicate the same thing.

For clarification below, the frame on top labelled ‘4G’ is the current GSM iPhone 4. They are using ‘4G’ in the AT&T/T-Mobile sense.

Top and bottom views below:

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Apple ups iPhone orders to 56M units for 2H11, iPhone 5 to be almost half

According to Digitimes, Apple has increased their second-half of 2011 iPhone orders to 56 million units from a previous goal of 50 million units. These 56 million iPhones cover current and next-generation models: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM + CDMA), and the upcoming “iPhone 5.” As previously reported, the iPhone 5 will make up almost half of Apple’s 2H11 iPhones with 25.5-26 million total units.

In addition, Apple reportedly originally planned to build 7 million iPhone 5 units for the third quarter, but adjusted their production plans to 5.5-6 million units. On the other hand, Apple is expecting major iPhone 5 demand in the fourth quarter and has increased Q4 iPhone 5 orders to 20 million units from 14 million units.

The iPhone 5 will go on sale this fall and will almost certainly include the dual-core A5 processor found in the iPad 2 and an eight megapixel camera possibly made by Sony. There has been debate over the new iPhone’s design, with some reporting a design that is largely similar to the iPhone 4, and others calling for a major redesign. As the iPhone 5 moves into Apple’s product lineup (in addition to a possible cheaper iPhone), Apple will be eliminating the iPhone 3GS.

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Gene Munster: What's on tap for 2011 at Apple?

SAI breaks down Piper Jaffay Apple follower Gene Munster’s predictions for 2011, complete with probabilities.  I’ve got to say, these are pretty conservative.  (I like Appleholic’s 2011 list much more).  Anyway, here we go…

- Verizon launch of the iPhone: Probability 95% (March qtr) (our est)

- Mac App Store: Probability 100% (Jan. 6 launch)

- iTunes cloud services: Probability 90%

- iPad geographic expansion: Probability 100%

- iPad subsidies from carriers: Probability 80%

- OS X Lion: Probability 100% (summer 2011)

And here’s when we can expect upgrades to the hardware:

- iPhone (March quarter). We are modeling for Apple to launch a CDMA version of the iPhone at Verizon in the March-11 quarter. The fifth generation iPhone will likely ship this summer with NFC capability.

- iPad (spring). We believe the second generation iPad will launch in spring 2011.

- Macs (uncertain). We have moderate confidence that Apple will release redesigned MacBook Pros in 1H11 and redesigned iMacs in 2H11.

- iPods (fall). As usual, we expect Apple to refresh its iPods in the fall.

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iPad 2.0 rumors claim CDMA, UMTS, Wi-Fi flavors

iPad 2.0 activity continues to heat up with the latest report claiming Apple will offer multiple configurations of the new product, with an accent on provision of pervasive Internet access.

Apple is expected to ship over half a million iPad 2.0 units in January with mass production set to begin then, the report claims. It seems Apple will offer Wi-Fi-equipped units alongside UMTS and CDMA-savvy iPads, maximizing the always connected Internet device proposition. Read more