not entirely true.
check it out.
YES CDMA phones can't be switched. Duh. But the Note II is capable of GSM too... the embedded sim is nothing more then a normal sim card.
check this thread at XDA. Solder in a dual SIM, load up the software and your good to go. Well... as long as you can get the battery cover back on.
CDMA phones don't use SIM cards at all. Unless the are world capable (international) phones. In that case, it uses CDMA on the sprint network, and the GSM for when traveling abroad (unless your in the rare location of the world that serves CDMA). You're correct that it doesn't use any sort of physical chip accessible to the customer to connect to the network. It uses a serial number of each specific phone to permit access.
That's why on sprint and Verizon you have to contact them with the ESN or MEID to switch the phone service. Even then the ESN has to be registered with that specific network. Sprint to Sprint and Verizon to Verizon.
On t-mobile and at&t you can just flip flop your SIM.....
World capable phones on Sprint (or Verizon i guess) can do both flavors if you play your cards right. Its just the matter of what phone you have and what you plan on doing. If its a International capable phone, its pretty much just a matter of software. Either getting your cell phone carrier to unlock it or unlocking it yourself.
So for the instance of our Note II, Sprint was kind enough to not use a physical SIM card that could be removed and replaced with a new carriers sim card. No, the decided to embed the little guy making it nearly impossible to switch out. That way you CAN'T (easily) switch out the SIM to your carrier of choice. Sprint will say its in an effort to prevent international phone fraud. Which doesn't really make sense but that's beside the point.
I'll be getting my Note II next week and plan on doing a test run of soldering a dual SIM connector and putting in the SIM switching software. Its possible. Its been done before. If you do decide to do it, its not going to be for the faint of heart, it would take some physical meddling of the innards.
Done with the Motorola Photon Q
Developing for the Note II
Sim switching (dual SIM)