CDMA iPhone: 2 Telcos Could Beat Verizon to the Punch

Although Verizon Wireless doesnt have to compete with carriers internationally, its interesting to see that Apple is supposedly in talks with a pair of telcos in India to carry an iPhone that operates on CDMA technology, the same technology that phones on the Verizon Wireless network use.

The Wall Street Journal says Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications have been chatting with Apple for several months about the possibility of a CDMA iPhone for their networks. When, or if it will happen, is still a mystery, but its hard to go wrong with the huge opportunity that presents.

No comment from Apple on the possibility. Indian operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Esser both offer the iPhone. Those carriers operate on GSM, the same technology used by Apples exclusive U.S. carrier, AT&T.

An astonishing 18 million people each month are signing up for new wireless service in India. About one in five of the 670 million wireless customers there use CDMA phones, so on the surface, there appears to be a huge opportunity there. However, the least-expensive iPhone in India will set you back almost $700, and thats out of the question for a large percentage of the population that cant afford some of lifes necessities. Considering that fact and the low-cost Android phones that are expected to make their way into the Indian market soon, analysts that the Journal talked to are split on how significant a CDMA iPhone there would be.

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