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…
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.