More iPhone rumors: iPhone 5 to be dual-radio ‘world phone’; cheaper iPhone 4 has less memory

Aug 23, 2011
Finance

I know, I know – the iPhone reports are getting out of control. Every day there’s some new twist, some new report, some new upstream component maker or unnamed Apple employee telling us what’s going to happen in October. But it’s all too interesting and crazy to pass up. The biggest new rumor is one […]

I know, I know – the iPhone reports are getting out of control. Every day there’s some new twist, some new report, some new upstream component maker or unnamed Apple employee telling us what’s going to happen in October. But it’s all too interesting and crazy to pass up.

The biggest new rumor is one that would seemingly confirm a few suspicions about the upcoming “iPhone 5,” or the next major iPhone product that Apple releases. It’s expected in October, although it might not arrive – more on that in a minute.

A new report from TechCrunch states that the iPhone 5 will be a “world phone,” meaning it’ll include both CDMA and GSM cellular radios. The phone will inherently have the capability of working on either AT&T’s or Verizon’s networks, as well as T-Mobile’s should the iPhone wind up there thanks to AT&T’s hopeful merger with the company.

TechCrunch calls the rumor a “near certainty” thanks to its “evidence from the field.” Here’s TechCrunch’s backing:

I was recently approached by a developer of some of the most popular apps on the iOS platform today, who asked not to be named and offered solid proof that supports the above claim.

According to this person, and app usage logs I was sent, a tiny number of people have recently registered for one of their applications from a single, brand new Apple device that is decidedly dual-mode – meaning it supports both CDMA and GSM.

The dual-mode capabilities of the phone would make it a lot more compatible with networks in other countries, allowing Apple to manufacture just one handset and basically sell it everywhere. It’s also good news for consumers who travel, because the dual-mode nature of the phone should allow them to use it on other networks. It’ll likely cost a bundle to do that, but at least traveling abroad won’t turn your iPhone into a brick in your pocket.

As TechCrunch points out, though, a dual-mode iPhone 5 pretty much precludes it from being 4G LTE. This one sounds pretty reliable, so we can probably stop hoping for a 4G iPhone until probably next year.

Oh, and that cheaper iPhone 4? It’s 8GB

One more rumor for you: Reuters has an exclusive report saying that the cheaper iPhone 4 we’ve been hearing about is indeed coming, and will, in fact, be cheaper. Instead of 16GB of memory, that device will carry 8GB, which should help bring down its price.

Reuters said it heard from two anonymous sources that Korean manufacturers are assembling the cheaper iPhone 4, which rumor has it will go on sale in October alongside the iPhone 5 and will be available without a carrier contract for prepaid customers.

We’ve also heard that the phone will feature other, cheaper components to help pull down its price, like a plastic back instead of a glass one in the current iPhone 4. Analysts speculate that the iPhone will need to downgrade itself a little more to dip below $200, though. Still, it if the rumors are to be believed, Apple seems to be working for just that purpose.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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