Apple Inc. is developing a new iPhone to debut this summer and also appears to be working on a model for U.S. mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless, say people briefed on the matter.
While Apple has unveiled a new iPhone every June or July since launching the product in 2007, the new model with CDMA capability, the cellular technology used by Verizon, is notable because Apple and AT&T Inc. have long had an exclusive relationship with the iPhone. That has given AT&T a competitive edge over other carriers including Verizon for the last three years.
The people briefed on the matter said one of the new iPhones is being manufactured by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which produced Apple’s previous iPhones. The model that has CDMA capability, used by Verizon Wireless, is being manufactured by Pegatron Technology Corp., the contract manufacturing subsidiary of Taiwan’s ASUSTeK Computer Inc., said these people.
One person familiar with the situation said Pegatron is scheduled to start mass producing the CDMA iPhones in September, but it was unclear when Apple might make the model available.
Spokespeople for Apple, Pegatron, Hon Hai and Verizon Wireless, which is majority owned by Verizon Communications Inc., declined to comment.
CDMA is a U.S. wireless technology adopted by Verizon, Sprint Corp. and a handful of operators in countries incuding South Korea and Japan. The vast majority of carriers world-wide—including Apple’s longtime U.S. iPhone partner AT&T Inc.—base their networks on the GSM standard.
“There has been lots of incorrect speculation on CDMA iPhones for a long time. We haven’t seen one yet and only Apple knows when that might occur,” said an AT&T spokesman.