Will iPhone CDMA Come To India?

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Will iPhone CDMA Come To IndiaApple introduced iPhone 4 in CDMA flavor for Verizon in United States. Verizon iPhone marks the first iOS device to join the 2,455 other handsets, tablets, modems, routers and other devices that have been commercially launched on CDMA2000 networks since 1995, including 33 Android and 16 BlackBerry devices.

iPhone 4 was commercially available from June, 2010 which is a GSM variant. The new iPhone CDMA comes with a new iOS 4.2.5 which includes Mobile Hotspot to offer WiFi for maximum 5 devices. GSM network support simultaneous voice and data, while CDMA does not though CDMA Development Group (CDG) announced EVDV(Evolution Data & Voice) or SVDO for simultaneous voice and data standard back in August 2009 which is still not available on chipsets.

After this launch of CDMA version of Apple’s highly successful smartphone, we can expect Apple will launch this phone in some other CDMA markets too and India can be one of them, as despite of the fact India is a predominantly GSM market, India has a huge subscriber base of CDMA, with 6 mobile operators (Reliance, Tata, MTS, BSNL, MTNL & Ping) offering services on CDMA technology.

There starts speculation that Reliance Communications & Tata Tele are on talks with Apple to bring iPhone CDMA to India. With exclusive iPhone CDMA (iOS 4.2.5) they can grab some customers from GSM players as MNP is set to roll out from January 20, 2011. Right now the sole iPhone distributer in India, Airtel and Vodafone (both are GSM operator) are still selling iPhone 3GS, not the latest one iPhone 4.

But even if iPhone CDMA comes to India, who will buy it? iPhone came to India via two costly operators, and the phone is priced too high, Rs 35,000 – 40,000. Being a very price conscious market, iPhone is a not successful device in India, like other Apple devices.

I am not sure, but iPhone CDMA may not come with RUIM slot, so internally programmed to be locked to Verizon network via ESN, as most CDMA handsets are sold in there. This model can not be applied in India, as Open Market Handsets (OMH) are launched in India and users favor it.

In a conversation with Brenda B Raney, Verizon Contact Person it is revealed that iPhone CDMA does not have a RUIM slot, but what she mentioned: “while we don’t typically sub-lock our devices, the phone was designed to work on the Verizon Wireless network. The phone will work in about 40 countries that use CDMA service. Here is a link on our web site so you can see where the device will work: http://b2b.vzw.com/international/technology/cdma.html ” In India any Verizon wireless phone will work – you can access voice, email & data.

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