Originally Posted by solipsism
I'm not sure that's true. Just look at the phones today that come with LTE. Or the iPhone-sized devices that don't when those same vendors make big devices with LTE.
Nor do I think that LTE 6 months ago would make sense for a device distributed around the world. How many real subscribers would really be a candidate for LTE compared to the number of subscribers that have access to '3G'. Remember that Apple released a '2G' iPhone when '3G' was very well situated through out the world.
My bad for not making clear I believe Apple has no intention of releasing "4G" with this phone - I was referring to a next gen combo of 3G and all the flavors of GSM and CDMA from the major cellcos. One that sips no more power than the existing sets of radios.
That certainly seems sound but keep in mind Apple's much larger device, the iPad, has 18 SKUs. If you look at iFixit breakdown I'd think they could have gotten a larger daughter board in there for a true world mode device without much negative affect to other component space. Certainly better than the iPhone's internal space. So why didn't they? It could be licensing, power usage, cost or several other reasons that are above and beyond the physical dimensions.
I don't believe "G" service of any flavor is the major driver of iPad development. Yet at least. I was all hyped about the 3G model (or next year's likely 4G), but thinking it through, the Wi-Fi variant will generally do me fine - long as I have a smart phone to either tether to, or settle for the smartphone's net access - and generally the places I want to use it all have WiFi anyway.
But being able to ship one phone to Apple Stores, to Cellcos around the world, to BestBuy, etc., etc. will save Apple (and resellers) lots of logistics. And they'll all come off one assembly line - distinguished only by onboard storage. And cutting the number iPad SKU's for the G models in half will also help the whole process for that family as well. Apple is all about efficient inventory management, especially under Cook.
Not selling new HW so they can wait to release software that will be coming to Macs and older iDevices doesn't jive with me. Seems like that would cost them billions in profit for something they can just release once its fully baked.
Personally, I think they are trying to put a full 6 months between their two biggest products, the iPhone and iPad, and pairing the iPhone up with their least profitable arm, the iPod line. The Touch may also get deprecated as the iPhone inevitably drops in price.
I kind of share your last speculation (about spacing releases and likely marrying the releases of the pods and phones). But I'll still maintain it's not just about having the phone ready, it's having the whole ecosystem that the marriage of iOS5, Lion and iCloud represent working well out of the gate. And the rough edges around Lion.0 show that there's plenty to do when you're making a jump this big. And this is the biggest quantam leap level change in that system to date, in a new world where all devices are seamlessly sharing and communicating peers in an integrated system.
A black eye in the media around this rollout (especially as the first huge release in the post Jobs as CEO era) would hurt more in the long run than any lost sales by holding a hardware ready iPhone 5 back. And they can afford to get the whole system right since the iP 4's still selling so well.