Today Verizon May Be Launching The CDMA iPhone 4. So What?


At this point, many say that it has been all but confirmed that Verizon, an American wireless company, will launch the iPhone 4. Today Verizon is holding a media event at which almost everyone who has any knowledge of iPhones and Verizon expects the CDMA iPhone 4 announcement.

While this is going to be great for Apple’s bottom line and increasing stock price, and also great for Verizon, its customers, and the thousands switching from AT&T to Verizon, I am more curious about what this means for Canada.

As we all know, Telus and Bell created a joint HSPA+ network in order to launch the iPhone and compete with Rogers/Fido. Telus and Bell spent a lot of cash on expanding their network and it’s safe to say that it is probably paying off.

However, before HSPA+, which is a 3G-only type of network (no EDGE, GSM, etc), Telus and Bell proudly operated Canada-wide CDMA networks and these networks were good. Like really good. I would even say that they were better than the Rogers/Fido coverage, since CDMA at the time ran on both Analog and Digital signals, giving cellular access to the most remote places in Canada.

With the upcoming launch of the CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon, what does this mean for Canadians? Well, it could mean a couple of things.

First, Telus and Bell/Virgin Mobile could be receiving CDMA-based iPhone 4 devices. This would not make their HSPA+ iPhone 4 device obsolete, but instead would deliver iPhone service to the many remote areas in Canada that customers have been unable to use an iPhone because of the lack of HSPA+ coverage. Such a device would also undoubtedly be available at an Apple Store as an outright and unlocked purchase.

Secondly, this CDMA iPhone 4 could mean that Verizon will be receiving an iPhone 4 that is both CDMA and GSM. In other words, this device would carry all the required wireless bands for CDMA, but also the bands and SIM card for GSM networks. Such a device would almost certainly replace every retail iPhone 4 at the Apple Store and also effectively make our existing iPhone 4 devices obsolete.

While the fundamental function of the device would not change, those with a CDMA/GSM iPhone 4 would have significantly more network access across Canada and abroad than we would with our GSM or HSPA+ iPhone 4 devices.

Thirdly, this CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon could simply mean nothing for Canadians. Verizon will get the device and that’s it. Canadians, and the rest of the world, will await and anticipate the iPhone 5 with not a care for the CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon.

We have heard nothing from Telus or Bell recently regarding the adoption of such a CDMA iPhone 4, but who knows how this will play out. I guess we will wait and see.


  • Anonymous

    If Apple has any sense the iPhone 5 [if that’s what they call it] will have CDMA/GSM/3G/4G capability. Accessing the same system as the rocket stick for higher speeds while being able to operate virtually anywhere there’s cell service would probably be the only draw to me buying one.

  • Anonymous

    This is what I see as well in the 5.

    There would not be any new design for the Verizon iPhone except for changes to accommodate the CDMA network.

    And I don’t see the CDMA version coming our way.

  • sanguine

    “…since CDMA at the time ran on both Analog and Digital signals…” Where did you get this load of BS? Mobilesyrup? CDMA is entirely digital. Bell and Telus worked to cover most of their old Analog footprint with digital service to prevent gaps when the old Analog system finally had to be taken down.

  • Anonymous

    Will this mean that the iPhone will work on WIND??

  • jlocicero

    Or Mobilicity?

  • Anonymous

    From the WSJ:

    Verizon said the iPhone 4 also will include new “Personal Hotspot” capabilities allowing customers to use the smartphone to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.

    SWEET! I hope it come in the next update for the rest of us!!

  • Anonymous

    I have to wonder I’d AT&T has been responsible for this feature not already being available on the iPhone. (non jailbreak of course)

  • LEe

    No, Wind and Mobilicity use AWS which is like T-Mobile in the USA, it’s not CDMA. The only network it would possibly work on up here is the Telus/Bell CDMA network.

  • Pfrancois88

    But in Quebec, Videotron is surely going to offer the new iPhone. With the Unlimited Quebec plan (local, provincial calls, unlimited text) at 50$ plus a 15$ 500MB/10$ 200MB data plan… no need to stay with Fido.

  • Hyperextension

    CDMA = sucks. Good luck using any data app while talking on the phone. Receive a call while tethered? Don’t think so. I doubt the GPS app will even work if you are on a call.

  • Crosseyed_mofo

    besides the fact that videotron is AWS as well, why would you possibly want to go with videotron, considering your $15 500MB data plan turns into a $1000 500MB data plan the moment you step outside of the province?

  • gdub

    This may be obvious… but this move alone may very well wipe out (or at least take a large chunk of market share from) Android, and most certainly RIM.

    The iphone has been available in Canada on all networks for the last year or so. Ride a bus in Vancouver lately? Everyone except the “business man who got a DUI so now he has to ride the bus” has an iPhone (or other iOS device) in their hand. Seems like a fair judge of market share to me.

    Now people in the states have a choice. I wouldn’t have an iphone if my only network choice was at&t. Give it a year or so for everyones contracts to renew and I bet iphone owns. Which in turn should mean even more attention from developers, which means doing cooler and cooler things with iphones, and iOS in general.


  • jo blow

    SWEET! I could keep on using my UNLIMITED texting option when i am in the USA. Ah… CDMA.

  • Fde

    Wait a minute, who said this verizon iphone 4 has the GSM sim slot? This a Only a CDMA phone, no GSM suppor, has been optimized to work with Verizon network point.

  • Rickbennett

    I use the iPhone from Bell for 6 months in the summer but just a Verizon pay as you go cell phone for my 6 winter months in Florida. Does this mean I could use my Bell iPhone (or buy a new one unlocked) and swap out SIM Cards every six months??? What is the best option for us snowbirds???

  • Andy12

    I know small market but how likely is it that MTS (Manitoba) would be getting this phone? Very excited and I can’t see it being just an American thing as it is supposedly being shipped to Asia and other parts of the world.

  • Stevem

    you guys iphone 4 cdma is coming to Canada and only to WestNet .