LTE iPhone 5 coming this fall?
Don't hold your 4G breath
If you're jonesing for a 4G LTE iPhone 5, you may only have to wait until this fall – and move to the United Arab Emirates. Or not.
"Yes, we are in talks with most smartphone manufacturers including Apple on the rollout of the 4G handset, iPhone 5 later this year," UAE wireless carrier Etisalat spokesman Ali Al Ahmad told GulfNews.com."
Although Al Ahmad's statement clearly refers to the iPhone 5 as being a "4G handset", his follow-up statement was a bit more muddy: "As the first telecom organisation to roll out the 4G network, LTE, in the Middle East," he said, "we have already started talking to them for the handsets and chipsets in them."
Well, one would certainly hope that Etisalat would be talking with Apple about handsets and chipsets, but what Apple might be telling them could very well be: "GSM or CDMA – your call."
After all, recent rumors have moved the LTE iPhone 5 launch into 2012 due to yield problems experienced by Qualcomm, supplier of LTE chips. Etisalat's LTE network is scheduled to light up in the third quarter of this year.
According to the market-watchers at DigiTimes who spoke with anonymous industry sources, "Apple is likely to delay the launch of its LTE-enabled iPhones to 2012, said the sources, noting 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."
Also tossing cold water on Al Ahmad's comment is a statement made earlier this year by Sam Greenholtz, and analyst at Telecom Pragmatics, who told The Street in February that he had spoken with the ever-loquacious "people close to the matter", who told him that an LTE iPhone was "aimed for a June/July launch next year."
And recall that Apple COO and Steve Jobs stand-in Tim Cook said during the company's Q2-financials conference call in April that "the first generation of LTE chipsets forced a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not we are just not willing to make."
We suggest reading two possible meanings into "design compromises": battery life and cost of parts. Apple would most certainly not want to take the marketing hit that lower battery life would deal them, and neither would it be happy to tighten its margins by paying more for LTE chipsets.
That said, we are merely speculating – as is par for the course when dealing with matters Cupertinian. Al Ahmad may be spilling actual LTE beans, he may simply be in error, or he may be angling for some worldwide ink for Etisalat.
If it's the latter, good on ya, Ali – you succeeded. ®
Just on the headline, we just finished Autumn here, so do you mean next year?
How about using Quarters instead of Northern Hemisphere seasons for global information... Just suggesting it akes more sense.
What colour will it be?
I can hardly contain my excitement.
...Was more likely to refer not to cost of parts but size - though I acknowledge that pretty much amounts to a straight trade-off with the point Rik did raise - battery life.
Personally I'm not at all convinced 4g is going to really prove to be a godsend. For me, I would much rather trade speed for increased reliability. If the choice is between 4G with 3G patterns of reliability / robustness or universal, reliable, 3G speed I can be sure of, then give me the greater reliability any day. I find I'm in wi-Fi zones frequently enough I'm rarely inconvenienced by any need to do heavy lifting over 3G, but I am continually inconvenienced by not being able to simple web page loads or Google map loads when moving through areas with patchy coverage. I'm aware 4G tech gives better capacity for the available over the air spectrum, but that is offset by faster access speeds. Maybe they should aim for lower speed but increased reliability. It's all a trade-off. Perhaps an expert out there can tell us if 4G will bring improvements on both axes?
The guys in the UAE is talking crap (like most people in the UAE).
He also means the physical size of the handset, either because the chipset itself is physically bulky, or because the poor power consumption means a larger battery is necessary. First generation handsets with new technologies are often clunky for this reason, and Apple doesn't do clunky. In addition, Apple needs a huge number of whatever chipset it chooses. Manufacturers who produce a lot of different models of phone can mix and match between models to cope with the numbers of whatever parts they have available, but because Apple sell the same thing to everybody, they need huge numbers of the same ones.
So, I am sure that Apple will release an LTE iPhone as soon as they can obtain a reasonably priced, low power, physically small, non-buggy LTE chipset that can be sourced in enormous numbers. This is not going to happen this year. I am sure Apple would like it to happen by next June/July, but I am not sure this is doable even by then. So my money is on an iPhone 5 this September with a much better CPU and GPU (likely the same as the iPad 2), a (significatly) better camera, probably (but not definitely) CDMA and GSM in the same phone, and maybe some cosmetic changes. Then we will see the LTE iPhone a year after that.
because it's coherent and not untrue?
Some guy in China sold his kidney to get an iPad 2...
Apple make nice kit, but let's get it in context.... there was never this kind of build up to the next Rocky films..