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4G LTE test code uncovered in developer builds of iOS 5

post #1 of 47
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Evidence that Apple has built 4G Long-Term Evolution testing code into beta builds of iOS 5 has been uncovered, prompting further speculation that the iPhone maker will adopt the standard in future versions of its mobile devices.

Earlier this week, a rumor emerged that Apple's carrier partners have begun testing an iPhone prototype with LTE, based in part on code reportedly from an internal iOS test build that was sent to "one of Apple's major carrier partners." That code has now been found in recent builds of iOS 5 issued to developers.

MacRumors reports that GSM iPhone 4 and CDMA iPad 2 builds of iOS 5 contain an LTE.plist file with a "key" tag for a "Connected mode LTE Intra-frequency Measurement." However, the file is not found in other "counterpart" versions of iOS 5 and has only been located in "at least the last couple" of beta builds of the forthcoming upgrade.

LTE is the 4G network standard of choice for carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, with real-world data rates of between 5 and 12 megabits per second downstream, and 2 to 5 Mbps up. Verizon launched its network first late last year, while AT&T plans to reach 70 million customers in 15 markets by the end of 2011.

Forbes reported last Friday that Apple is looking for field test engineers with LTE experience on the LinkedIn career networking site. The company seeks "Quality Assurance engineers" to join its "iOS Quality team" to test the functionality of telephony features such as the phone, SMS and data on the iPhone.



Though rumors have suggested that Apple's partners are testing LTE iOS devices, separate reports claim LTE technologies will not be ready for Apple to mass produce until at least 2012. Qualcomm's LTE chips are said to be experiencing problems with "yield rates" that will prevent Apple from implementing them this year.

Last week, spy shots allegedly showing LTE equipment being installed at a "major" Apple Store followed on the heels of the rumor that Apple's carrier partners have been testing an LTE-capable iPhone. The leaked photos drew speculation that Apple was improving LTE signals in its stores ahead of the release of some kind of LTE-compatible device from the company.

It should be noted that there has yet to emerge any strong evidence that Apple will include LTE in the fifth-generation iPhone, which is expected this fall. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in April that "the first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset," some of which the company is unwilling to make.

Executives from Verizon and China Mobile have hinted that Apple is planning an LTE iPhone, but have been unable to provide further details.


post #2 of 47
it's a natural step to evolve to LTE.
It will for sure happen for iPhone too.
Just patiently wait for a while...
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post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Evidence that Apple has built 4G Long-Term Evolution testing code into beta builds of iOS 5 has been uncovered, prompting further speculation that the iPhone maker will adopt the standard in future versions of its mobile devices.

I would have thought that much was pretty obvious. If Apple didn't adopt LTE, it would be the only manufacturer that didn't! The first thing to know about Apple is that its implementation of new features is never the first, but often the best. From that perspective, it's no surprise that Apple is experimenting with LTE.
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

it's a natural step to evolve to LTE.
It will for sure happen for iPhone too.
Just patiently wait for a while...

Natural step, sure, but HSPA+ for the 3GSM-based devices is the first natural step to expect.
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post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

If Apple didn't adopt LTE, it would be the only manufacturer that didn't!

Worked for Blu-ray*. Apple couldn't care less.

*This sentence was written for the purpose of illustration. I do not believe this for LTE.

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post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

I would have thought that much was pretty obvious. If Apple didn't adopt LTE, it would be the only manufacturer that didn't! The first thing to know about Apple is that its implementation of new features is never the first, but often the best. From that perspective, it's no surprise that Apple is experimenting with LTE.

We know it's coming, but the LTE market is still very weak. Much weaker than the '3G' saturation in the US when the original iPhone was released.

My questions are: Is this 3-4 month delay of the iPhone due to LTE development? Is there some super-secret chip we don't know about that will make LTE feasible for Apple's main focus areas of size and power consumption?
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post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

My questions are: Is this 3-4 month delay of the iPhone due to LTE development?

The delay is likely because of iOS 5 & iCloud. Had they been done in June, iPhone 5 probably would have been released then.

I am skipping iPhone 5, the first generation I have ever skipped. My next phone will be iPhone 6 with LTE.

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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The delay is likely because of iOS 5 & iCloud. Had they been done in June, iPhone 5 probably would have been released then.

Eh, I don't see a FOUR MONTH wait for just software.

I am skipping iPhone 5, the first generation I have ever skipped. My next phone will be iPhone 6 with LTE.[/QUOTE]

Provided it even has it.

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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The delay is likely because of iOS 5 & iCloud. Had they been done in June, iPhone 5 probably would have been released then.

I am skipping iPhone 5, the first generation I have ever skipped. My next phone will be iPhone 6 with LTE.

1) I'll likely get each new iPhone. My YoY benefit of utility tends to outweigh my cost.

2) iOS 5.0 seemed pretty well baked when Beta 1 dropped. I have to assume the IOS teams were working on a Summer release schedule without knowledge of an extra season of delays. They could have release iOS 5.0 without iCloud if that what was holding it back, but perhaps they want to release all at the same time. Though I don't' completely buy that scenario as adding new SW features is easy to do but adding new HW features is not. That tells me that between these two options it's more than likely one or more components have caused the delay or the device.

3) There is another option. When you look at the Touch and iPhone you see similar components, even the same size display. You also see the iPod as being Apple weakest HW arm and the iPhone being their strongest, with each one moving further in their directions. An argument could be made that Apple is planning to keep the iPhone and iPod events at the same time as the iPod becomes less and less important to their bottom line. They quickly release the new iPods and they spend a great deal of time on the new iPhones each Autumn. It's also more balanced annual timeframe from the iPod release 6 months before/after which also uses many of the same internal components and is their 2nd more profitable HW arm.
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post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Natural step, sure, but HSPA+ for the 3GSM-based devices is the first natural step to expect.

Maybe Apple will simply skip HSPA+ in favor of LTE? HSPA+ doesn't bring new things [edit: compared with HSPA], but LTE does.
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

HSPA+ doesn't bring new things, but LTE does.

You want to back that up?
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post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

2) iOS 5.0 seemed pretty well baked when Beta 1 dropped. I have to assume the IOS teams were working on a Summer release schedule without knowledge of an extra season of delays. They could have release iOS 5.0 without iCloud if that what was holding it back, but perhaps they want to release all at the same time. Though I don't' completely buy that scenario as adding new SW features is easy to do but adding new HW features is not. That tells me that between these two options it's more than likely one or more components have caused the delay or the device.

iOS 5 beta 1 was really flaky if you tried to use any of the new features. It was nowhere near ready for release at WWDC.

That being said, in the past they've had no qualms releasing new hardware with a point release of the existing OS, with the next version of the OS ready later in the year.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You want to back that up?

I will!

*ahem*

"HSPA+ is already 4G, so there's nothing that LTE brings that we don't already have. Because it's just 4G again."

Oh, wait, I got that backwards. I don't really know how HSPA+ doesn't bring new things. Not even in a joking way.

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post #14 of 47
Are there any major LTE networks outside of the US? I know Europe has a few, but not that many cellphones implement the standard, just USB modems.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You want to back that up?

yes: http://3g4g.blogspot.com/2008/01/com...pa-vs-lte.html
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post #16 of 47
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Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Are there any major LTE networks outside of the US? I know Europe has a few, but not that many cellphones implement the standard, just USB modems.

I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon and AT&T have more LTE towers than the rest of the world combined by the end of 2011.

Three in the UK just announced a 21Mbps HSPA+ hotspot for September.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/21/t...r-september-a/ I think what some fail to realize is that carriers jumping on LTE needed to do so because CDMA2000 was at a dead end while 3GSM networks have a very long growth rate that will allow efficient HSPA+ integrated with LTE as needed.
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post #17 of 47
Quote:

Posting a link isn't stating an argument. Where is your assesment that LTE chips will miraculously be smaller, cheaper and more power efficient than HSPA+?
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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Posting a link isn't stating an argument. Where is your assesment that LTE chips will miraculously be smaller, cheaper and more power efficient than HSPA+?

I wrote nothing about chipsets. I only wrote "HSPA+ doesn't bring new things, but LTE does.".
What I'm saying here, is that LTE (because of lower latency, SC-FDMA in UL, always-on, only 2 UE states, and others) is actually bringing something new compared with HSPA, while HSPA+ brings (except higher DL/UL speed) nothing new compared with HSPA.
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post #19 of 47
It just common sense to expect the iphone going LTE going down the road. So why this is posted as ibig news?
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

Maybe Apple will simply skip HSPA+ in favor of LTE? HSPA+ doesn't bring new things [edit: compared with HSPA], but LTE does.

If they follow their historic trends, they will release a handset that addresses the fastest widely-deployed cellular network technology on the planet at the time of release: HSPA+.

That makes far more sense as it benefits the maximum number of users (on a worldwide basis). Half of Apple's revenues are from international markets.

It's expect to see LTE next year, perhaps debuting in the spring in the iPad 3.
post #21 of 47
Quote:

That link does not back up your statement that:

Quote:
HSPA+ doesn't bring new things [edit: compared with HSPA], but LTE does

All it tells us is that LTE is better than HSPA+ (which I don't think anyone is denying). However, HSPA+ does bring significant advantages over HSPA specifically improved latencies and speed. The advantage it currently has over LTE networks is that it is far more widespread than LTE, and the LTE chips in existence are power hogs.

http://www.differencebetween.com/dif...rk-technology/
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applecurious View Post

It just common sense to expect the iphone going LTE going down the road. So why this is posted as ibig news?

It isn't. It doesn't even have the "breaking" prefix.

Its just one of many news items AI posts during the day.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

it's a natural step to evolve to LTE.
It will for sure happen for iPhone too.
Just patiently wait for a while...

It's always been a no brainer that they will eventually support LTE, the only thing that's ever been in doubt is when.

It could be that the chips are ready for the iPhone release in October, but it's equally likely that they may not be. We'll know soon enough.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

If they follow their historic trends, they will release a handset that addresses the fastest widely-deployed cellular network technology on the planet at the time of release: HSPA+...

I don't see as there is really enough data to make that statement.

One could equally argue instead that their modus operandi so far has been to release one phone that incorporates as many bands and spectrums and technologies as could feasibly be fit into the power envelope of the design. If that's the goal, then the new Qualcom chip is something they would be preternaturally focussed on and willing to go to great lengths to support.

The main reason to *hope* (not expect) that this chip is ready for the new iPhone and actually performs in the way it's described to, is that combined with what they already have, it would make a phone that would operate on GSM, CDMA, LTE and pretty much every phone network you ever heard of.

It's likely that such a "superphone" would be something that Apple would be very interested in making. It's really just a matter of whether it's physically possible yet.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

I would have thought that much was pretty obvious. If Apple didn't adopt LTE, it would be the only manufacturer that didn't! The first thing to know about Apple is that its implementation of new features is never the first, but often the best. From that perspective, it's no surprise that Apple is experimenting with LTE.

Yes, the "obviously" flows strongly in this one.
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

We know it's coming, but the LTE market is still very weak. Much weaker than the '3G' saturation in the US when the original iPhone was released.

My questions are: Is this 3-4 month delay of the iPhone due to LTE development? Is there some super-secret chip we don't know about that will make LTE feasible for Apple's main focus areas of size and power consumption?

Are you aware that Verizon will cover 1/2 of the population of the US by the end of the year? That is not exactly what I would call weak..... It covers about 40% right now....

My next phone will be LTE compliant, so it looks lit the iPhone is out for now......


EDIT:

Sorry, I was wrong. Verizon already does cover more than 1/2 of the US population.....

"..BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless is turning on the world’s most advanced wireless network in 15 additional cities and expanding its network in 10 cities on Aug. 18, bringing the blazingly fast speed of 4G LTE to more than 160 million Americans – more than half the U.S. population – in fewer than eight months. Consumers and businesses can choose from an array of 4G LTE-enabled smartphones, tablets, notebooks and netbooks, and hotspots to connect to the fastest 4G LTE network in the country, now available in 117 cities.

On Thursday, Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network will be available in Tucson, Ariz.; Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers, Ark.; Bakersfield and Salinas/Monterey/Seaside, Calif.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Frederick, Md.; Worcester, Mass.; Omaha, Neb./Council Bluffs, Iowa; Albany, Ithaca and Syracuse, N.Y.; Altoona and Johnstown, Pa.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Provo, Utah. The company is also expanding its 4G LTE network on Thursday in Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Boston, Mass.; Lansing, Mich.; New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah.

“In eight short months we’ve introduced our 4G LTE network to more than half of the U.S. population, while continuing to offer the nation’s most reliable 3G network coast to coast,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “This matters to millions of Americans because they can take advantage of faster 4G LTE speeds both at home and when they travel throughout the country – today and in many more markets to come this year. Each new market and expansion is significant as it brings us closer to delivering on the promise to bring our 4G LTE network to more than 185 million Americans by the end of 2011...”
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...prompting further speculation that the iPhone maker will adopt the standard in future versions of its mobile devices.

I will go out on a limb and speculate that further out, Apple will adopt whatever "standard" follows LTE.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

I will go out on a limb and speculate that further out, Apple will adopt whatever "standard" follows LTE.

LTEA. But we can have fun pretending.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

If they follow their historic trends, they will release a handset that addresses the fastest widely-deployed cellular network technology on the planet at the time of release: HSPA+.

That makes far more sense as it benefits the maximum number of users (on a worldwide basis). Half of Apple's revenues are from international markets.

It's expect to see LTE next year, perhaps debuting in the spring in the iPad 3.

I too bet my money on LTE for the iPad 3. LTE's value proposition is a much better fit for the iPad than for the iPhone. And it would be easier to overcome LTE's current power consumption challenges on the iPad as well.
post #30 of 47
No way in hell Verizon or ATT will even let iPhone on their 4G network. Those networks would be down for weeks if not months if iPhone users got access to them.
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post #31 of 47
I wonder how well the first gen LTE will work in terms of battery life and price.

I for one am perfectly content with 3G for now at least for the phone. I get 3.5 Meg's down and 1 up and have an unlimited plan. Plenty for what I do with the phone. Plus I don't want to end up charging the phone 3 times a day like those android guys at work who have 4G.

For the iPad... Well that's a different story, but I may just get a MiFi hotspot or equivalent and use that for all my portables. They will use less battery and save some cash.
post #32 of 47
You don't need to wonder.

First generation LTE cellular handset performance has been heavily documented. Battery performance is a complete joke.

It's not some random schmuck green lighting final designs at Apple. It's a guy named Steve and he is, what would you say, a bit picky about quality.

Steve isn't going to let the iPhone battery performance completely suck. Have a little faith in Apple.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

I would have thought that much was pretty obvious. If Apple didn't adopt LTE, it would be the only manufacturer that didn't! The first thing to know about Apple is that its implementation of new features is never the first, but often the best. From that perspective, it's no surprise that Apple is experimenting with LTE.

They are first sometimes....they adopted Thunderbolt first...as far as I know....

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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Are you aware that Verizon will cover 1/2 of the population of the US by the end of the year? That is not exactly what I would call weak..... It covers about 40% right now....

My next phone will be LTE compliant, so it looks lit the iPhone is out for now……

[…]

So you're going on record that all 5th gen iPhones in the world will have LTE because Verizon will have towers up covering 50% of their consumer base?
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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

You don't need to wonder.

First generation LTE cellular handset performance has been heavily documented. Battery performance is a complete joke.

It's not some random schmuck green lighting final designs at Apple. It's a guy named Steve and he is, what would you say, a bit picky about quality.

Steve isn't going to let the iPhone battery performance completely suck. Have a little faith in Apple.

I have to agree.......it would be great for the IPhone 5 to have LTE but I can't see Apple doing this unless they can ensure a great customer experience. If they can't get good battery life out of the LTE radio then in my opinion they won't do it. But they might have something new to announce that will ensure great battery life. But we will have to wait and see.....

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post #36 of 47
I think, bringing iPhone 4G is the only reason iPhone launch was delayed till october, Apple waited for LTE development and Apple is known to launch only when 100% ready, Apple will define standards of LTE like 3G revolution carried out by iPhone 3G



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Evidence that Apple has built 4G Long-Term Evolution testing code into beta builds of iOS 5 has been uncovered, prompting further speculation that the iPhone maker will adopt the standard in future versions of its mobile devices.

Earlier this week, a rumor emerged that Apple's carrier partners have begun testing an iPhone prototype with LTE, based in part on code reportedly from an internal iOS test build that was sent to "one of Apple's major carrier partners." That code has now been found in recent builds of iOS 5 issued to developers.

MacRumors reports that GSM iPhone 4 and CDMA iPad 2 builds of iOS 5 contain an LTE.plist file with a "key" tag for a "Connected mode LTE Intra-frequency Measurement." However, the file is not found in other "counterpart" versions of iOS 5 and has only been located in "at least the last couple" of beta builds of the forthcoming upgrade.

LTE is the 4G network standard of choice for carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, with real-world data rates of between 5 and 12 megabits per second downstream, and 2 to 5 Mbps up. Verizon launched its network first late last year, while AT&T plans to reach 70 million customers in 15 markets by the end of 2011.

Forbes reported last Friday that Apple is looking for field test engineers with LTE experience on the LinkedIn career networking site. The company seeks "Quality Assurance engineers" to join its "iOS Quality team" to test the functionality of telephony features such as the phone, SMS and data on the iPhone.



Though rumors have suggested that Apple's partners are testing LTE iOS devices, separate reports claim LTE technologies will not be ready for Apple to mass produce until at least 2012. Qualcomm's LTE chips are said to be experiencing problems with "yield rates" that will prevent Apple from implementing them this year.

Last week, spy shots allegedly showing LTE equipment being installed at a "major" Apple Store followed on the heels of the rumor that Apple's carrier partners have been testing an LTE-capable iPhone. The leaked photos drew speculation that Apple was improving LTE signals in its stores ahead of the release of some kind of LTE-compatible device from the company.

It should be noted that there has yet to emerge any strong evidence that Apple will include LTE in the fifth-generation iPhone, which is expected this fall. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in April that "the first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset," some of which the company is unwilling to make.

Executives from Verizon and China Mobile have hinted that Apple is planning an LTE iPhone, but have been unable to provide further details.


post #37 of 47
Quote:

Good link. The jig is up for wireless providers. It's LTE or bust going into 2012 to 2015. The mobile bandwidth demand globally is going to cripple 3G (including HSPA+) networks by 2015. They have to start investing and moving to networks and base stations that *are designed* for extremely high-bandwidth data.

I'm not saying providers aren't going to implement widespread HSPA+ but a good chunk might skip that and go straight to LTE. Some providers will have to do that for competitive advantage.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I have to agree.......it would be great for the IPhone 5 to have LTE but I can't see Apple doing this unless they can ensure a great customer experience. If they can't get good battery life out of the LTE radio then in my opinion they won't do it. But they might have something new to announce that will ensure great battery life. But we will have to wait and see.....

I'm really not seeing iPhone LTE launching this year. The global markets are not fully ready and they're still planning what model to deliver for China Mobile. Yes, Apple can be ahead of the curve but not always.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Good link. The jig is up for wireless providers. It's LTE or bust going into 2012 to 2015. The mobile bandwidth demand globally is going to cripple 3G (including HSPA+) networks by 2015. They have to start investing and moving to networks and base stations that *are designed* for extremely high-bandwidth data.

I'm not saying providers aren't going to implement widespread HSPA+ but a good chunk might skip that and go straight to LTE. Some providers will have to do that for competitive advantage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I'm really not seeing iPhone LTE launching this year. The global markets are not fully ready and they're still planning what model to deliver for China Mobile. Yes, Apple can be ahead of the curve but not always.

Am I reading your posts wrong? In the first one it sounds like you're saying they will have to go with LTE going into 2012 and int he latter you say you don't see LTE launching in 2011.

I see a couple scenarios Apple might take.
  1. A full "world mode" phone that will work on CDMA/CDMA2000 for Verizon (and Sprint) and on GSM/3GSM for AT&T, T-Mobile et al. This would be big chip change and could surely be a reason why they need extra time to source chips from Qualcomm or whomever.
  2. Apple keeping two sepereate lines like they did with the 18 models of iPads and only adding LTE to the CDMA/CDMA2000 iPhone and HSPA+ (or maybe LTE) to the GSM/3GSM iPhones.
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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I'm really not seeing iPhone LTE launching this year. The global markets are not fully ready and they're still planning what model to deliver for China Mobile. Yes, Apple can be ahead of the curve but not always.

I agree with you about the global market and LTE...but I was thinking of just the US market for now....

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