Verizon iPhone 4 teardown: World Phone CDMA/GSM radio inside

Feb 7, 2011
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iFixit has been at it again, whipping out the adjustable spanner set (well, a selection of Torx screwdrivers actually) and taking on Verizon's iPhone 4. We've already given the CDMA smartphone a good going over in our full Verizon iPhone 4 review, but now we get to see the changes inside the iOS handset too. The biggest point of interest is the Qualcomm MDM6600 radio chipset, which actually could've been used to make the Verizon iPhone 4 into a so-called world phone.

While the outside of the smartphone looks little changed from the original GSM version, inside it's a completely different story. iFixit found that all of the RF components, including antenna placement, EMI (electromagnetic interference) shields, connector locations, and even the board layout have changed. Even the vibration motor has been modified and shifted in the chassis.

Since the antenna design was pretty much locked in, it seems even more time than normal has been spent "polishing" the concept, as iFixi says, to keep the familiar appearance. The radio chipset is the same as in the Verizon DROID Pro, and could in fact support both CDMA and GSM/WCDMA; the teardown team speculates that Apple chose not to because of the antenna design hassles.


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