Verizon iPhone 4 teardown reveals Qualcomm ‘world phone’ chip, new antenna design, and more

“We got our hands on the new iPhone 4 Verizon on the morning of February 7th, 2011,” iFixit reports.


• The SIM slot is gone. According to Apple, the SIM card and SIM tray were the only user-serviceable parts in the AT&T iPhone 4. Apple now says “iPhone does not contain any user-serviceable parts.”

• We believe the additional break in the antenna enclosure on the right side of the phone is a result of the switch from GSM to CDMA. An antenna’s operating frequency is directly dependent on its size and geometry, so the change-up required an antenna overhaul.

• Apple has removed the counterweighted vibrator motor in the corner of the phone and switched to a different vibrator design that’s now placed near the battery connector. The iPhone 4’s vibrator received a complete makeover. Rather than using a rotational electric motor with a counterweight, the Verizon iPhone appears to utilize a linear oscillating vibrator for call/message alerts. Our tests show that the new vibrator has quieter, softer feel, and makes a better sound when on a table.

• The Qualcomm MDM6600 chip supports HSPA+ data rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B. It supports both GSM and CDMA—which means that Apple could have supported GSM!
Why didn’t they? It may be that it was easier to design antennas for a CDMA-only phone — this phone supports two cellular frequency bands, while Apple supports five bands in the GSM version. Of course, there’s no way it could be a real “world phone” without a SIM card slot.

Read more and see all of the teardown photos here.

[Attribution: MacRumors. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. APPLE!!!!!, why did you not create a world phone.

    I am trapped on Verizon blackberry. We do heavy international travel, and are just now looking at other smart phones.

    I am going to be taken to Android crap because APPLE doesn’t support international travel requirements.

  2. @chaz,

    You ignorant slut. Apple DOES create a world phone, how else do you suppose iPhones are sold GLOBALLY?

    C’mon, I mean, how stupid are you? Just because you CHOOSE to be limited to Verizon’s bass ackward network (one that can’t even do the basics- Voice and data? Bueller?).

    Verizon minus SIM minus voice and data- How 1980’s!

  3. @Chaz,
    “APPLE!!!!!, why did you not create a world phone.”

    Please. !!!! And there is NO anti-gravity and no warp drive either…. What was Apple thinking. ?? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Hey, how about one fantastic design at a time??

    And why are you on Verizon if you need a world phone??

    Just wondering,

  4. @Chaz

    While I am a Verizon customer myself, I have to agree with ElderNorm; if you travel internationally a lot, why are you using a CDMA phone at all? That just doesn’t make sense.

  5. It’s becoming clear to me now why Apple was pushing for the non-SIM card updates to GSM phones awhile back. They want one phone to rule them all (and the keys to which network would be managed via iTunes).

    Of course, the industry wanked out so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with iPhone 5. Looks like even the Verizon-intended iPhone 5’s will have SIM slots as a result.

  6. Since when is voice and data basic? As far as I know only one maybe 2 (don’t know about T-mobile) can do voice and data at the same time. Sprint and Verizon no, and all of the smaller CDMA carriers no. If more than half or at least half cannot do voice and data, how is it that becomes now a basic requirement??? Anyone? Bueller?? Moo??? Copy and paste anyone???

    And of course we should expect nothing less from Apple as to release one fantastic design at a time. How else would it become the second largest market cap stock? Not by selling Macs that’s for sure. Need a reason for all those people year after year to keep lining up, and leaving obvious stuff off has become a no brainer for Apple.

    I guess it is unknown to you two MacTards but Verizon does have world phone solutions. GSM carriers in the US do not work like their world equivalents. If they did this would be a no brainer as well. Looks like only you two have no brains. Maybe “en” had one but based on his elderly status had it deteriorate between his ears just like a rotten apple.

    Why can’t Chaz just want Apple to make a product that they can make for a need he wants filled with an Apple product without people ignorantly jumping all over him?

  7. Virtually all GSM phones sold by AT&T and T-Mobile are quad-band, and can roam throughout the world without any intervention by user.

    Verizon offers a few hybrid phones that have Qualcomm’s dual chips (CDMA/GSM) and a SIM-slot. These solutions are clunky and bulky. Adding a SIM card slot to a CDMA phone in the US, only so that a handful of users who travel would have the ability to roam is not quite optimal. It adds bulk, draws power and just sits there for most of its time. That is why there are so few hybrid CDMA/GSM phones out there. That’s why Apple chose NOT to add a SIM slot.

    For those who must use CDMA, Apple will continue to make CDMA-only phones. For the rest of the world, there is the GSM model. I would be surprised if Apple were to consolidate the two into one. While on the one hand it would simplify manufacturing (one single production line), it would unnecessarily add weight, bulk and battery drain. The efficiency of space in the iPhone clearly tells us that Apple is very mindful of the three.

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