Ina Fried

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Apple’s Phil Schiller on Building the Verizon iPhone

Although it is largely similar to the existing iPhone 4, developing a CDMA version of the iPhone was hardly a simple task, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller told Mobilized on Tuesday.

“It was a lot of work,” Schiller said, speaking on the sidelines of the Verizon iPhone event on Tuesday. Earlier, Apple and Verizon executives notes that the two companies have been talking about building a CDMA iPhone since 2008 and that the project involved months of testing that eventually involved more than 1,000 test devices.

The only major feature difference is the fact that the Verizon model can be used as a hot spot to connect up to five other devices to the Internet.

“A big part of it is the software, I’d say the biggest part,” Schiller said. “It uses the hardware in different ways.”

The Verizon iPhone is Apple’s first foray into phones that run on a CDMA network. Schiller wouldn’t comment on whether Apple plans to offer a CDMA version of the iPhone in other countries, but acknowledged that door is now open.

One opportunity that the hotspot option opens up is the ability for customers to buy a Wi-Fi only iPad that taps the Verizon iPhone’s cellular connection to access the Internet.

“It’s a good way to do it,” Schiller said.

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