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Verizon iPhone closes Antennagate

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Last but certainly not least among Monday's rumor trifecta is DigiTimes' claim that a CDMA-based iPhone is in the works, and that it will be built with "a back plate [that] will be forged from metal materials and will feature an integrated antenna" — an interesting detail, if true, considering that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs insisted that "there is no Antennagate" when defending the iPhone 4's unique exposed-antenna design during a press conference last month.

As to whether those "metal materials" will be the "amorphous, non-crystalline" metal alloys for which AppleInsider says Apple has obtained "a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license" isn't known — or even rumored.

As The Reg has reported in multiple articles, rumors of a CDMA-based iPhone have popped up repeatedly since as early as September 2008. In the US, this mythical beast is identified as the "Verizon iPhone" due to the fact that the largest stateside mobile-phone service provider, Verizon Wireless, uses CDMA technology, and not the GSM-based alphabet soup of the iPhone's current exclusive US provider, AT&T.

Monday's rumor states that the CDMA iPhone will be manufactured by Taiwan's Pegatron, offered by both Verizon Wireless and China Telecom, and will be revealed to world+dog at January's CES 2011.

For American iPhone owners, a Verizon-supplied iPhone will be a welcome addition to their choices of providers of the Jobsian handset. According to a recent small-scale survey by ChangeWay Research, when iPhone owners were asked: "What do you dislike most about your iPhone 4?", the number-one complaint was "requirement to Use AT&T's Network", followed closely by "coverage/speed/quality of AT&T's 3G network".

What's more, according to ChangeWave, AT&T's service is deteriorating: "Since September 2008," they wrote in their report, "Verizon's [dropped-call] rating has improved slightly while AT&T's has continued to worsen."

If Monday's DigiTimes report is correct, US fanbois may soon have a choice of carriers. Having followed the Verizon iPhone's long trail of fruitless rumors, however, The Reg remains skeptical — but we'll be at CES 2011 with our fingers crossed. ®

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