updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue October 12, 2010
Backs notion of Verizon iPhone
Two CDMA-based carriers in India are negotiating with Apple for the iPhone, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The companies are Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, the latter of which at least has allegedly been in talks for four to five months. Although there is no indication of when either carrier might launch, the news is thought to be more evidence that Apple is building a CDMA iPhone, primarily for a debut with Verizon in early 2011.
The potential of a CDMA iPhone in India is thought to be relatively limited. While the country has roughly 670 million cellular users growing at a rate of 18 million per month, CDMA only accounts for 20 percent of the market. The iPhone is also already available through GSM carriers Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar, and too expensive for most people; the cheapest model costs over $670 locally, and some 42 percent of the population makes less than $1.25 per day.
Apple also faces entrenched competition from other smartphone makers like Nokia, RIM and HTC. The company may however hope to a reach a number of carriers around the world through CDMA, such as China Telecom. Recent rumors have suggested that the next major iPhone revision could be a hybrid GSM/CDMA design.