Rumor: iPhone with LTE unlikely to show up before 2012

Apple's iPhone remains the smartphone that everyone either has or wants to get for a variety of reasons. But with the faster 4G networks now starting to gain traction across the US, and 4G-based phones starting to show up in stores, many people are wondering when Apple's iPhone will get a 4G upgrade for its next version. Well, according to Digitimes you may have to wait for another year before a 4G-based iPhone shows up in the US.

Digitimes' story claims via unnamed sources that "due to problems concerning yield rates of LTE chips offered by Qualcomm" an iPhone with LTE-based chips likely won't be released this year. Both Verizon and AT&T, the current US carriers of the iPhone, are using the LTE technology to power their faster 4G phone networks. The story adds that a number of phone carriers in China are also interested in selling the faster iPhone in that country.

But it looks like Apple is waiting for the LTE-4G network to be bigger before releasing a iPhone that take advantage of the faster network speeds. The story states that "the industry had also long been skeptical about the launch of LTE iPhones in 2011 as the implementation of LTE networks has not yet matured."

This report would seem to confirm earlier reports that when the next iPhone version is released (hopefully sometime in September) it will be just an incremental step up from the current iPhone model. One earlier report claims the next iPhone will contain the faster A5 processor that's currently in the iPad 2. That same report claims that it will also add support for HSPA+ based phone networks which would allow it to be sold by Sprint and T-Mobile.

Photo via Apple

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