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Indian CDMA carriers in talks with Apple for iPhone

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They don't need smartphones...

    they need toilets. Why is Apple even wasting its time with that country? Nokia can easily handle all the Indians needs as far as cellphones go.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    CDMA iPhone.

    If there actually is a CDMA iPhone in the works, it is NOT for Verizon. It is most likely for the chinese market and possibly India. iPhonerulez, you need to educate yourself a bit. Have you heard of outsourcing to India? Now you have a bunch of people in India (developers) with new found income looking to dispose of it and the iPhone is a real hot commodity.

    The only possible North American CDMA carrier that I could see carrying it would be Sprint because they seem to be much more open to work with Apple on a non-branded phone and do not lock down services like AGPS (Assisted GPS) to their own apps like Verizon does.

    Companies outside of the US (even CDMA carriers) are not as obsessed with branding and locking down their phones like North American carriers so I could see Apple working with CDMA carriers in China before I would see them work with Verizon.

    For Verizon to get the iPhone, they have to be willing to become a dumb pipe for data and call services.

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