While promoting its 4G LTE ambitions to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon may have given the biggest hint yet that the next iPhone will support 4G LTE. Verizon spokespersons said that the rest of the smartphones it releases in 2012 will have 4G LTE support and you would have to conclude that includes Apple’s iPhone.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that we’ve heard Verizon plans to go all in with 4G LTE but we now have more evidence that the next iPhone will sport next-generation mobile data support. Apple had previously said that 4G LTE required too many compromises in its designs but now that it included this in its new iPads, you can guess that Apple may have overcome those concerns.
It’s not a slam-dunk case though, as 4G LTE has many issues right now which may make it difficult for Apple to overcome. For example, the 4G LTE on AT&T and Verizon use different bands, so the new iPads won’t be cross-compatible with the separate networks. Sprint plans to roll out its LTE network later this year but will it have enough of a footprint for Apple to even bother to support it in 2012? Additionally, 4G LTE is extremely fragmented across the globe, which also makes it tough for Apple to create one model which can work in nearly every market.
I’d still expect the next iPhone to support 4G LTE in some fashion – particularly on Verizon and AT&T – and expect it to support HSDPA speeds in markets without 4G LTE. Additionally, Qualcomm recently introduced a new global 4G LTE modem, so perhaps the tech is finally there for a true, global 4G LTE iPhone.
Is 4G LTE a requirement for you to buy the next iPhone?