When the iPhone was first launched, AT&T enjoyed the privilege of being the only carrier that carried Apple’s brand new handset. Several generations later, the privilege extended to Verizon who introduced the rest of America to a CDMA version of the iPhone 4. The trouble with different versions of the iPhone meant that users who were not on AT&T or Verizon would not be able to enjoy them, or users with existing devices that were bought outside of the US would most probably have to turn to AT&T for their GSM needs.
New rumors of the next-generation iPhone have popped up and the rumors are suggesting that the iPhone 5 will have dual-mode capabilities, which means that it will be able to run on GSM and CDMA networks, which basically covers the four major carriers in the US and essentially turns the iPhone 5 into a “world phone”.
The rumor was initially reported by TechCrunch, who was tipped off by an unnamed developer, who spotted an unidentified iOS device pop up in the logs for a popular iOS app that sported identifiers which suggested that the device would be capable of running on both GSM and CDMA networks.
As with all rumors it’s best taken with a grain of salt, but if the earlier reported rumors that Apple is planning a cheaper 8GB version of the iPhone 4 to target emerging markets, it makes sense that Apple would want to make a phone that will be compatible on a variety of carriers, and covering America’s four major carriers would be a good start.