Apple is in talks to offer a version of the iPhone in India based on code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology, according to people familiar with the matter, quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

India's Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices both use the CDMA platform, as do Verizon, long rumoured to be offering an iPhone in the US early next year.

"Tata has been in talks with them [Apple] for four to five months now," one of the people familiar with the negotiations told the newspaper. "It is unclear though when any launch may take place, these people said," the WSJ added.

In August, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, a well known blogger with a good track record of predicting Apple's plans, noted a CDMA iPhone, codenamed 'N92,' had reached 'engineering verification test' (EVT) status.

"That’s one step below DVT (device verification test), which is one step below production. So it’s right about where you’d think it would be if it were scheduled to go on sale in January. The CDMA iPhone is no longer a cold storage, keep-it-alive-just-in-case-we-need-it project," Gruber said.

Apple iPhone 4

The blogger claimed a Verizon iPhone could go on sale in January 2011, if a Bloomberg report was to be believed.

"Apple is good at keeping future products secret, and, if anything, they’re getting better at it. But the weak spot in the secrecy chain is production. If you need millions of units, you need millions of components," Gruber added. "That takes time, and it necessarily involves suppliers. If there are going to be millions of CDMA iPhones in January, we’re going to start hearing about signs of production."