Antenna Engineer: CDMA iPhone will keep the external antenna design of the iPhone 4

Image showing the backside of an Apple iPhone 4

Image showing the backside of an Apple iPhone 4

Amidst all the rumors about the CDMA iPhone, one of the most controversial is the insinuation¬†that the CDMA version of Apple’s popular smartphone would offer improved hardware, including an internal antenna and a faster 1.2 GHz processor. While we can’t comment on the validity of the processor rumor, we can relay the information from an antenna engineer who put the brakes on this spreading internal antenna rumor.

According to Antenna engineer Spencer Webb, the CDMA iPhone will retain the overall design of the iPhone 4, including its potentially faulty antenna. Webb points out that Apple is adopting a three year product cycle with its hardware and engineering design. With the exception of the iPhone 4, all three previous iPhone models retained the same overall hardware and offered improvements in only a few key hardware features. The iPhone 4 broke this mold and is reportedly the first generation model of this new industrial look and hardware layout. If you buy into this theory, the next two generations of the this popular smartphone will retain the same look and feel as the iPhone 4.

Webb also asserts that a change from the external antenna to an internal antenna would be technically difficult and costly to Apple. According to Webb, “the antenna design is architecturally fixed in the design, and it would take them a while to make whatever the next design is.” Only six months separate the brouhaha of antennagate from the rumored launch of Apple’s CDMA smartphone. In the world of hardware design, this is an incredibly short timespan and one that does allow an architectural change in antenna placement, now matter how much money to have to throw at the problem. In this scenario put forth by Webb, the CDMA iPhone will be a near clone to the iPhone 4 and will offer all the advantages and potential disadvantages of this sleek, industrial hardware.

While Webb agrees that Apple will do something to address this antenna issue, he has no idea what that solution may be. One thing it most likely won’t be, though, is a racial change in hardware design to support an internal antenna. If we presume this to be the truth and not merely one man’s opinion, is anyone now a little less excited by the CDMA iPhone?

[Via Computerworld]

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