Mobile

Don't bet on an LTE 4G iPhone 5 this year

Eventually one of these iPhone 5 rumors will have to pan out, so let’s keep throwing them at the wall: Industry sources say that Apple was originally planning to add LTE 4G capabilities to this year’s iPhone, but chose to delay including the technology until next year, Digitimes reports.

It’s tough to take reports like this seriously, especially when citing nebulous “industry sources,” but Digitimes has proven that it has a knack for milking accurate information from suppliers in Asia. And given that it’s very likely that Apple isn’t debuting the next iPhone until the fall, there certainly is time for the company to include LTE technology if it finds the right chipset.

But that seems to be the problem Apple is facing right now. The sources say Apple was concerned about the amount of LTE chips Qualcomm could manufacture in time for this year’s iPhone launch. With a slew of Android 4G LTE phones released and on the horizon this year, Apple will have to fend off plenty of other manufacturers for the LTE chips.

I previously argued that a fall iPhone 5 release could be a good thing for Apple because it would allow both the LTE 4G chipsets and networks from Verizon and AT&T to mature. But given that Apple was also slow to adopt 3G technology in the iPhone, it’s not a huge surprise to find that it may wait on LTE. Analysts have been predicting for some time that Apple wouldn’t go with LTE technology until next year.

Digitimes also refers to this year’s iPhone as the iPhone 4S, which means that it expects this year’s iPhone to be a minor refresh like the iPhone 3GS.

The latest round of rumors regarding the iPhone 5/iPhone 4S, or whatever you want to call it, point to the inclusion of the iPad 2′s faster dual-core A5 processor (this one’s a given), a larger edge-to-edge screen that doesn’t leave much room for bezel, an 8-megapixel camera (bet on this one too), and NFC technology for mobile payments. There’s also word that the iPhone 5 may support HSPA+ networks, which would allow it to perform faster on GSM networks like AT&T’s without the need for LTE technology. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple debut the iPhone 5 on Sprint and T-Mobile.

Image via This is My Next


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