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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So I take it this " unprofessional journalist" is an iPhone fan. Objectivity and a little research required here. This is poor work and Neowin needs to review posts before adding their name to it.

Orange Battery said,
So I take it this " unprofessional journalist" is an iPhone fan. Objectivity and a little research required here. This is poor work and Neowin needs to review posts before adding their name to it.

+100000000000000000000000000000000000

The only mobile technology that qualifies as 4G is LTE-Advanced, which has not been implemented by any carrier or phone as far as I know. Carriers are even referring to HSPA+ or DC-HSDPA as "4G" now, so would Apple be able to sell the next iPhone as a "4G" phone like many other manufacturers are doing simply by supporting HSPA+/DC-HSDPA?

An upgrade to A5, 8 mexapixel camera, and HSPA+ support (42.2 Mbps) would be sufficient upgrades to qualify as a pretty major upgrade. What else would you be looking for, exactly? The name iPhone 4S mentioned in previous articles sounds ridiculous, since the 4 signifies the "4th" version of the phone, and if 4S is the fifth version, what the hell does the 4 stand for then? The next phone released in September will be the iPhone 5, and it will have the three upgrades I noted earlier, with the possible additions of FM Radio and a small LED indicator light (for missed calls, voicemail, sms, etc)

sabrex said,
The only mobile technology that qualifies as 4G is LTE-Advanced, which has not been implemented by any carrier or phone as far as I know. Carriers are even referring to HSPA+ or DC-HSDPA as "4G" now, so would Apple be able to sell the next iPhone as a "4G" phone like many other manufacturers are doing simply by supporting HSPA+/DC-HSDPA?

An upgrade to A5, 8 mexapixel camera, and HSPA+ support (42.2 Mbps) would be sufficient upgrades to qualify as a pretty major upgrade. What else would you be looking for, exactly? The name iPhone 4S mentioned in previous articles sounds ridiculous, since the 4 signifies the "4th" version of the phone, and if 4S is the fifth version, what the hell does the 4 stand for then? The next phone released in September will be the iPhone 5, and it will have the three upgrades I noted earlier, with the possible additions of FM Radio and a small LED indicator light (for missed calls, voicemail, sms, etc)

I like the name 4S, seeing as how the phone retains the same basic shape and has no major overhauls besides the functionalities you mentioned. I think 5 should be reserved for when there is a major physical overhaul, in keeping with the established pattern.

SHaGGGz said,
I like the name 4S, seeing as how the phone retains the same basic shape and has no major overhauls besides the functionalities you mentioned. I think 5 should be reserved for when there is a major physical overhaul, in keeping with the established pattern.

4 refers to the 4th version of the phone. There has been no established pattern. The first phone was the iPhone, the second added 3G to signify it supported HSPA in addition to EDGE, and the third added S to the 3G to signify faster speeds. 4S means absolutely nothing, well the S means added speed, but the 4 is meaningless when the phone is actually the 5th version. So the 6th version of the phone is going to be called the iPhone 5? That's very nonsensical, and to be honest very un-Apple like.

Considering that Apple usually has it's hardware designs ready months in advance, I don't really believe LTE was ever in the works for this year. It never made any sense. The number of LTE networks in the world is fewer than 20, there's no solid standard for transmitting Voice over LTE, and the chip that Apple would have wanted to use that integrated GSM, CDMA, and LTE would have been first gen, and likely suck up tons of power for networks that barely exist!

It's better to do take it one step at a time and release a "world phone" which is both GSM and CDMA compliant and then add LTE later on.

Actually, on second though, because the EU just announced what bands LTE was officially going to be using in Europe, it's 99.9% unlikely that LTE was going to be coming this year. That's just cutting it WAY too close. http://mobile.engadget.com/201...imax-on-900mhz-and-1800mhz/

Read more: http://www.electronista.com/ar...te.ruled.out/#ixzz1MiO3dPVZ

dagamer34 said,
Considering that Apple usually has it's hardware designs ready months in advance, I don't really believe LTE was ever in the works for this year. It never made any sense. The number of LTE networks in the world is fewer than 20, there's no solid standard for transmitting Voice over LTE, and the chip that Apple would have wanted to use that integrated GSM, CDMA, and LTE would have been first gen, and likely suck up tons of power for networks that barely exist!

It's better to do take it one step at a time and release a "world phone" which is both GSM and CDMA compliant and then add LTE later on.

Actually, on second though, because the EU just announced what bands LTE was officially going to be using in Europe, it's 99.9% unlikely that LTE was going to be coming this year. That's just cutting it WAY too close. http://mobile.engadget.com/201...imax-on-900mhz-and-1800mhz/

Read more: http://www.electronista.com/ar...te.ruled.out/#ixzz1MiO3dPVZ

The speed gains are not that important versus battery life. I would actually prefer cheaper 3G networks for carriers to lower the price per megabyte than a faster and more expensive network due to new investments.

Ok normally I'm not too critical of articles but there are way too many technical errors in here for a technology site.

Both Verizon and AT&T, the current US carriers of the iPhone, are using the LTE technology to power their faster 4G phone networks.

AT&T is going to migrate to LTE but as of right now the LTE build out is just starting and probably won't be lit up until the very end of this year but more than likely Q1 2012. Their current "4G" network is just based on HSPA+ and is really no different than their 3G network

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.

Sprint is not using HSPA+. They are using a combination of CDMA and WiMax (and retiring their old iDEN network). They will probably switch to LTE in the future. There is nothing preventing the current iPhone from being put on Sprint's network besides an agreement with Apple.