We all hoped to see a LTE iPhone 5 earlier this month when the iPhone 4S was released. The best we got was "4G-like speeds" on AT&T with the update to a HSDPA antenna. Well, sources say we should expect to see what we’ve been asking for in 2012!
Currently Verizon is rolling out a strong Long Term Evolution, or LTE, network with AT&T and Sprint trying to play catch up. Sprint took a try at WiMAX but has since decided to migrate away from that and introduce the LTE technology instead for its 4G network. With that being said, currently there are only about 35 networks globally using LTE and Apple just didn’t see it widespread enough for them to start producing 4G LTE phones. Analysts are expecting Verizon to be offering 4G service to the majority of its market by next year, with AT&T growing their network and Sprint starting LTE in mid-2012.
Apple now sees it as a good time to start looking at the 4G market, and we could see a shift from the current market holder, HTC, to Apple with the release of what we expect to be the iPhone 5. Apple isn’t the only company planning to jump into the 4G market either; RIM and Sony Ericsson are expected to release 4G devices as well.
Apple had concerns with the earliest produced 4G chips causing battery problems and other issues, and that was their main reason from pursuing the technology sooner. Apple is set on delivering quality products so its understandable to hold off until the network technology stabilizes and becomes consistent. We saw buzz on the internet about the HTC Thunderbolt having horrible battery life due to its design with the 4G/3G antenna switching back and forth. Apple wants to prevent those same issues and continue to provide the same quality it always has, even if they aren’t on the gripping forefront of the latest and greatest technology.
We look forward to seeing the new network technology evolve over the next year and we are excited to see what devices are in-store for us as consumers. I know my area just recently got Verizon LTE officially but I have not had the opportunity to try it out as that is not my current carrier.