After our phone conversation with Qualcomm VP yesterday, Enrico Salvatori, we're convinced that there will be no dedicated Verizon iPhone 5 handset coming in June because Apple will almost certainly opt for a multimode baseband module to improve time to market and reduce costs.
The iPad 2 is already using the Qualcomm MDM6600, a data chipset that supports HSPA+ data rates up to 14.4Mbps and CDMA technologies making it ideal for a number of markets globally.
Teardown analysis & independent component pricing have shown that adopting the chip can reduce the bill of material by a couple of dollars, which represent a tidy $80 million savings if Apple reaches the 40 million units sold in 2011, a number predicted by a number of analysts.
The key here is the ability that Qualcomm has to integrate a number of components in a single package; a move that reduces power consumption (and heat dissipation), frees precious PCB space, slashes time to market and cuts down component costs.
If Qualcomm doesn't launch a brand new chipset equipped with near field communication technology for the iPhone 5, the other candidate would be the MDM9625 which supports HSPA+ Release 9, EV-DO Revision B, EV-DO Advanced and, most importantly, TD-SCDMA which is widely used in China.
Such a chip would remove the need to have a Verizon iPhone 5 altogether; indeed, someone in China would be able to use the same phone when travelling to the US on Verizon's 3G network or in the UK on Orange.