Originally Posted by grkhetan
I believe iPhone 5 is unlikely to support LTE --- why? Because Apple does not like to stay at the cutting edge with radio tech. I mean the first iphone was 2.5G and not 3G even though it was available ...Apple chose 2.5G because AT&T's 3G was available in only select areas... same case would be here.
Apple chose not to go with 3G because the US government had an indefinite ban on the import of 3G chips in 2006 and 2007 due to a patent suit and Apple could not afford to delay the iPhone launch in the US since they did not have a global presence yet.
The situation with LTE is similar but different. There are currently no suitable LTE chips. No one has launched LTE handsets, and that is why Verizon will not have LTE handsets until mid 2011, even though the network will be live in 30 cities 6 months earlier. If Apple wants to keep the June release date they need to make a decision very soon (if not already) if they think the chips will be available in quantity in time for an iPhone 5 launch. On the flip side, they also have to decide if they can afford to wait until June 2012 when all of their competitors will be marketing 4G phones by late 2011.
I would not be shocked to see the iPhone 5 release pushed back a few months, or the iPhone 6 to be pushed up well before June 2012.
AT&T is just launching in mid-2011, they will obvioulsly launch only in select markets - and roll over the rest of the nation in 1-2 years from then.
AT&T has been upgrading their 3G towers to LTE ready equipment. They will be able to roll out LTE much much quicker than Verizon if they want to, and I expect they will be highly motivated. They already spent over $10 billion on additional frequency licenses alone, and billions more in tower prep and they will want to see a return on that investment as soon as practical. It is no coincidence that they are waiting to turn things on until the handsets are available, since there is little point to a network without devices. Don't take the delay relative to Verizon's 2010 rollout to mean they will move slower or have a smaller footprint in Q3 2011. I would not be shocked to see AT&T have LTE on 90% or more of their current 3G towers by late 2011, early 2012.