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Verizon iPhone to be mixed mode device, sold for any US carrier?

There’s some discussion today speculating Apple plans to pass on Verizon’s now slowly being rolled-out 4G network (LTE), these reports emanate from TechCrunch.

The claims are that “the iPhone CDMA model due in January won’t support LTE.  But here’s where it gets really interesting: sources tell me that the iPhone refresh in mid-2011 won’t support LTE either. Instead, Apple will produce a dual mode iPhone containing 3G flavors of GSM and CDMA, which operates on all carriers worldwide. If this holds true, Apple won’t support the LTE standard until some time in 2012.”

What is interesting here is something else: Why doesn’t Apple just build a world phone that does GSM and EVDO 3G?  One device for all four US carriers.  Apple loves simplicity.  Plus, you buy a phone on Verizon but them move to an area better served by AT&T?  You just pop in a SIM card and cancel your Verizon plan (and hopefully don’t get killed in fees)

What if the iPhone of the future is available unlocked, and you as a user can insert your choice of SIM card from your choice of carrier inside the device (or in the case of Sprint/Verizon can change by IMEI)

The TechCrunch report continues to observe that Apple doesn’t seem to be in the business of jumping on new mobile standards in rev 1 — recall the relative slowness with which it adopted 3G, for example.

The report also cites power demand and the size of LTE chips as part of the reason for Apple’s claimed decision. However, the next iPhone could be carrier-agnostic and capable of working on 3G networks worldwide, it claims.

The iPhone of 2011 also seems set to be equipped with proximity-sensing technologies, such that you may be able to use your iPhone as a wallet.

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