AT&T's 4G-compatible micro-SIM cards prompt speculation of LTE 'iPad 3'

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


AT&T stores have begun receiving new micro-SIM cards compatible with the carrier's LTE 4G network, prompting speculation that they could be compatible with a new third-generation iPad from Apple compatible with 4G LTE networks.



Pictures of the new LTE micro-SIM cards were published on Friday by PhoneArena.com. The cards are arriving in stores before the launch of the 4G Nokia Lumia 900, but also come weeks ahead of an anticipated announcement from Apple of a third-generation iPad.



Apple currently uses micro-SIM cards in both the iPhone and 3G-capable iPad for wireless data connectivity. But those cards are not compatible with AT&T's new high-speed 4G LTE network, available in select markets. Apple has yet to sell an LTE device.



Rumors of an LTE-capable iPad are not new. In January, Bloomberg reported that Apple had begun building a third-generation iPad with LTE connectivity built in. That report said the so-called "iPad 3" would launch in March.



Apple is expected to hold a media event the first week of March to introduce its third-generation iPad. The anticipated device is rumored to feature a high-resolution Retina Display.



While claims about the next iPad's display have been relatively consistent, little has been said about the 3G capabilities of the rumored device. Last year, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said poor battery life and other issues with the first generation of LTE chips were enough to dissuade the company from pursuing an LTE iPhone.











3G-compatible micro-SIM cards were first adopted by Apple in 2010 with the first-generation iPad. The smaller cards, which allow more space inside the device, eventually made their way to the iPhone line as well, and are still found in the new iPhone 4S, which is a world phone compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks.



In late 2010, it was said that Apple was developing its own open embedded SIM card that would work with multiple carriers. That change would have allegedly allowed customers to shop for mobile service directly from an Apple Store, eliminating the need for users to work with the carriers.



But Apple was said to have abandoned those plans after carriers in Europe allegedly threatened to cut subsidies. Mobile operators reportedly accused Apple of trying to wrest control of customers away from the carriers.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I think the code for LTE found in iOS 5.1 looks more compelling.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    AT&T stores have begun receiving new micro-SIM cards compatible with the carrier's LTE 4G network, prompting speculation that they could be compatible with a new third-generation iPad from Apple compatible with 4G LTE networks.








    LTE? Of course. See below:



    Quote:

    As for the iPad HD:



    Quad rez screen, natch.



    Driven by an A6 Multi-Core procesor and



    Maybe a PowerVR Series6 GPU?



    The main camera will be the same 8 MP currently found on the iPhone, while the front facing one will be the best on the market. The cameras will need to be top-notch due to the high rez display.



    Thunderbolt? Yes indeed.



    LTE? Of Course. It is needed to power:



    Siri II, better than ever, with some exclusive features.



    Mapping will finally do away with Google. Apple's mapping investments will pay off with the best free mapping the world has ever seen. It will blow away anything/everything currently on the market, because it will use...



    Augmented reality baked into the OS. Powered by Siri. Nobody will ever leave the house without taking their iPad, because the word will seem devoid of content without it.







    Each of these is currently available and Apple is technologically able to give us each of this things. Right now. In the new iPad HD.



  • al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    isn't AT&T already selling LTE phones? i bet these use micro-sim cards
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    AT&T stores have begun receiving new micro-SIM cards compatible with the carrier's LTE 4G network, prompting speculation that they could be compatible with a new third-generation iPad from Apple compatible with 4G LTE networks. ...



    Occam's Razor says these are not for the iPad 3.
  • just_mejust_me Posts: 591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    isn't AT&T already selling LTE phones? i bet these use micro-sim cards



    LTE sim cards currently used by att and Verizon are regular size
  • leoofborgleoofborg Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Occam's Razor says these are not for the iPad 3.



    A link to a Wikipedia entry does not an argument make.



    LTE is where 3G was when the iPhone 3G/s was: It's a huge battery suck on any smartphone, so it may not be in Apple's best interest to push a device with battery problems. Their LAST response to 3G battery suck was to make the device (the iPhone4/s, iPad1/2) MOSTLY battery. They *may* beg off of LTE (due to all the carrier whining about 'lack of bandwidth' that started, ironically after AT&T botched the T-Mobile M&A).. so as to let the poor little carriers 'catch up' with their build out. That would also simplify the battery issue in the short term. But-



    It's also (less, but I hope) likely that we'll all be pleasantly surprised if there's one device than can connect to all the carriers. With NO contract, like the iPad/2 are, but again. All carriers. It would certainly fit with Apple's theme of "simplify for the consumer".



    Whatever Apple does with the cell/gps-enabled iPad (regardless of whether it's LTE or not) they will build on, and then push to the next iPhone. We'll know what that is, soon, I think.



    Quote:

    "In late 2010, it was said that Apple was developing its own open embedded SIM card that would work with multiple carriers. That change would have allegedly allowed customers to shop for mobile service directly from an Apple Store, eliminating the need for users to work with the carriers."



    What's established is that now the carriers are in Apple's sights, and there is conflict brewing. And Apple, to sell even MORE hardware, wants to flatten/level them in much the same way they did with the Music Industry.
  • gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    Apple didn't release an LTE iPhone 4S because the chips were too large and battery hogs, but a lot has changed in six months. The iPad is also a huge device compared to the iPhone so plenty more room to enable LTE if they so chose without making too many compromises. Apple realizes people will use an iPad for around 2 years or more and now that Verizon has a pretty large LTE network and AT&T and Sprint are working to build out their own, I can't imagine the iPad 3 would not include an LTE option. Pretty much all competing tablets this year will include LTE, not that Apple cares or would add LTE for that reason, but they are at least aware of that. It would also give iPad 1 owners that use the 3G data plans a real incentive to upgrade.



    Apple only adds new tech to their products when they are mature and ready. That means the LTE chips have to be smaller and more battery efficient. If they have evolved to that point the iPad 3 will include it, and if not it probably won't.



    As for me, I don't really care since I will just get the wifi only version and tether from my phone when I need to since I have an unlimited data plan with Sprint on my phone. Since 90% of hotels offer free WiFi now, I doubt I would need to even do that very often.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I think all iPhones and iPads will be LTE going forward. LTE is starting to really take off. Both AT&T and Verizon are ramping up as fast as they can. We already have it in many areas in Southern California. If the new iPad doesn't have it I will be really surprised and disappointed.
  • gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I think all iPhones and iPads will be LTE going forward. LTE is starting to really take off. Both AT&T and Verizon are ramping up as fast as they can. We already have it in many areas in Southern California. If the new iPad doesn't have it I will be really surprised and disappointed.



    Very true. Here in Atlanta, Verizon and AT&T already have LTE fully deployed and very widely available and Sprint will finish deploying LTE here in a few months.
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by leoofborg View Post


    A link to a Wikipedia entry does not an argument make....



    I was trying to be brief.



    What I meant was that since the Lumina 900 is due out in early March and will use an LTE MicroSIM that alone could conveniently explain the sales of said SIM. Occam's Razor says that the simplest explanation or the existence of a simpler explanation generally discounts the more convoluted explanation or the explanation that requires extra assumptions not in evidence.



    Therefore we don't need to leap to the conclusion that the next iPad has LTE because the sale of these SIMs is already explained by the Lumina 900.



    It may have LTE anyway. My point was only that this is not necessarily evidence of that.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    LTE on the 3rd generation iPad is looking very likely at this point though I think it will be the first time that Apple has put new cellular tech in the iPad before the iPhone.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by leoofborg View Post


    LTE is where 3G was when the iPhone 3G/s was: It's a huge battery suck on any smartphone, so it may not be in Apple's best interest to push a device with battery problems.



    The only factors that limit iPad battery life are cost and weight. There is lots of room in the case. I have a new LTE device from AT&T and the battery is pretty small, yet it lasts all day. I don't know what chips are inside but it seems to work. For Apple not to include LTE from now on would be insane. Perhaps there should be a settings option to turn it off, but it definitely needs that feature IMO.
  • gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    LTE on the 3rd generation iPad is looking very likely at this point though I think it will be the first time that Apple has put new cellular tech in the iPad before the iPhone.



    But it makes sense moving forward since Apple has moved to an update schedule of the new iPad many months before the new iPhone. (Or many months afterwards depending on how you look at it.) The iPad 2 did give us a sneak peak at the A5 for the iPhone 4S so it only makes sense we will see the new A6 and LTE in the iPad 3. By the end of 2012 all three major Apple carriers will cover more than 120 million people with LTE and more than 275 million by the end of 2013 assuming they meet their schedules.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    The only factors that limit iPad battery life are cost and weight. There is lots of room in the case. I have a new LTE device from AT&T and the battery is pretty small, yet it lasts all day. I don't know what chips are inside but it seems to work. For Apple not to include LTE from now on would be insane. Perhaps there should be a settings option to turn it off, but it definitely needs that feature IMO.



    Let's find out what chips, battery size, etc. What is the device to which you refer?
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Let's find out what chips, battery size, etc. What is the device to which you refer?





    Sierra Wireless Elevate



    AirCard 754S Mobile Hotspot
  • apple v. samsungapple v. samsung Posts: 391member
    Pantech burst uses a Micro Sim. Nothing to see here.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    But it makes sense moving forward since Apple has moved to an update schedule of the new iPad many months before the new iPhone. (Or many months afterwards depending on how you look at it.) The iPad 2 did give us a sneak peak at the A5 for the iPhone 4S so it only makes sense we will see the new A6 and LTE in the iPad 3. By the end of 2012 all three major Apple carriers will cover more than 120 million people with LTE and more than 275 million by the end of 2013 assuming they meet their schedules.



    I think Apple will keep the iPad and iPhone about 6 months apart due to the number of common components and likelihood that customers of one will be customers of the other.



    As for the A4 and A5 chips coming to the iPad first is an indication that we'll see new cellular HW in the iPad first, there is no precedence for that.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Sierra Wireless Elevate



    AirCard 754S Mobile Hotspot



    There is so much different between an end user device and a personal hotspot that I can't begin to find ways to compare them.



    Have you connected via LTE and run the battery from full to empty to see how long you can get with the device on idle and in heavy use?



    edit: I couldn't find the internal HW specs outside of the basic network types it connects to but I did find one review that listed its usage. They state the "battery lasted 4 hours, 35 minutes of streaming over HSPA." That's not all day, nor is it even LTE. Now there is a hit for a hotspot due to the cellular and WiFi being pushed at the same time but it also doesn't' have a lot of the other processes of a smartphone or tablet. Do you have the extended battery pack?
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Perhaps there should be a settings option to turn it off, but it definitely needs that feature IMO.





    There certainly will be an option to turn it off. Large parts of Apple's target markets do not yet have it.



    The option to use higher-tech, if available, will be included.
  • gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    Here is a good review of the Galaxy SII skyrocket which is an LTE phone on AT&T. It seems to get pretty good battery life, better than the Verizon LTE phones but not as good as 3G only.



    http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/11/s...rocket-review/
  • jahonenjahonen Posts: 364member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post


    LTE sim cards currently used by att and Verizon are regular size



    Yes, but the soon-to-hit-shelves Nokia Lumia 900 with LTE uses micro-SIM cards....



    Regs, Jarkko
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