iPhone 5 to be a dual-mode ‘world phone’

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 will support access to both CDMA and GSM networks, allowing it to operate in most countries around the world, a source tells TechCrunch.

An unidentified app developer reportedly pulled information from registration logs that show two distinct mobile network codes (MNC) / mobile country codes (MCC). These codes, which are believed to have been entered by testers a single device using Apple’s upcoming mobile operating system iOS 5, are unique mobile network identifiers belonging to Verizon and AT&T, TechCrunch said.

Apple now caters to both companies, but the devices are not designed to operate on each other’s networks; Verizon’s works on the CDMA standard, while AT&T’s iPhone 4 operates on a GSM network, the dominant global wireless technology and the standard in Europe.

While the iPhone 5 has been long rumored to be a CDMA/GSM world phone, Verizon’s iPhone has always had this capability, although it’s not activated. Teardowns of the device showed that it sports the Qualcomm MDM6600 chip, the same chip that’s used in the Droid Pro world phone.

TechCrunch concluded that a dual-mode phone would suggest that the iPhone 5 would not support LTE. However, Apple’s latest developer builds for iOS 5 contain a snippet of code that mentions LTE, according to enthusiast site MacRumors, prompting speculation that the company may be testing 4G internally.

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