Apple to Launch CDMA iPhone in India?

There is a new, interesting development in the Verizon iPhone story. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Apple is in talks with two Indian carriers to carry a CDMA version of the iPhone. While CDMA technology is much less widely used across the world than it is in the United States where both Verizon Wireless and Sprint use it, there are CDMA carriers abroad. Remember, SIM card means GSM, no SIM card means CDMA.

The two companies that the WSJ claims Apple is talking to about offering a CDMA iPhone (presumably the same one Verizon is expected to get in early 2011) are Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices. While only about 20% of India’s 670 million cellular subscribers are on CDMA networks, that is still a huge number. Apple has apparently been in talks for “four to five months” and while no one is quite sure when the launch will take place, it is starting to look like one will.

The WSJ and other sources have already put their reputations on the line to say that Apple will begin building millions of CDMA iPhones by the beginning of 2011 for Verizon. Apple is now also expected to make the iPhone 5 a world phone. World phones have both GSM and CDMA cellular radios inside of them, allowing them to be used on networks everywhere, regardless of carrier.

China might also be getting a CDMA iPhone in the future as well. As Apple presumably plans to increase the number of carriers that it sells its iPhone for, CDMA is the next logical step. Currently, the iPhone can work on GSM networks besides AT&T, but only if the phone is unlocked (or when sold in other countries with their own exclusive carriers).

So what do you think? Apple really going to expand the iPhone into India with CDMA? You can already get an iPhone in India, but they are obviously not as popular as much cheaper phones. The news that Apple wants to really start pushing a CDMA iPhone bring more hope to the idea of a Verizon iPhone? This seems to keep getting better and better but still, I will try to curb my enthusiasm until we actually see an iPhone in a Verizon store. Oh, and remember, Verizon is working on letting its current CDMA network do voice and data at the same time. Tell me what you think in the comments!


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