One clue that the move was feasible is the lack of a SIM card slot; AT&T's model has one, but Verizon's does not.
"As soon as you get rid of the SIM card, you get a whole lot of real estate inside the phone," said Webb. "Enough to shove a Wi-Fi antenna behind the glass back."
By moving the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS antenna inside the iPhone, it freed space for Apple to craft two cellular antennas within the steel frame, Webb added.
Unlike journalists and bloggers who had brief hands-on time with the Verizon iPhone at the Tuesday launch event, Webb declined to speculate on how well the new antenna design will handle calls and data, or whether the "death grip" may return to haunt Apple.
"We'll see how it works next month, but I think the steps Apple took were all good," said Webb.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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