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Chinese carrier says Apple's iPhone 5 will support high-speed HSPA+

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will feature support for fast HSPA+ 21Mbps network speeds, sometimes advertised as "4G," carrier China Unicom has revealed.

The carrier revealed the information in a presentation given at this week's Macworld Asia. A slide shown by the carrier, spotted by Macotakara, displays the evolution of the iPhone, from the first-generation model in 2007 onward.

Included in the slide is a blank spot for Apple's so-called "iPhone 5," which the company will officially unveil at an event next Tuesday. No photo or details on the iPhone 5 are provided, except for a mention that it will access HSPA+ networks, which have theoretical maximum download speeds of 21Mbps.

That compares to the 7.2Mbps maximum theoretical speed the WCDMA radio has provided in the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. The first-generation iPhone featured EDGE data connections for 480Kbps.

In the U.S., AT&T and T-Mobile have their own HSPA+ networks which the carriers advertise as having "4G" speeds, even though they aren't true fourth-generation technology. AT&T is currently rolling out a true LTE 4G network in the U.S., and the carrier's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile would give it more spectrum to expand its coverage.



Rumors have maintained that this year's iPhone upgrade will not feature a true 4G LTE radio. The China Unicom slide does indicate, however, that the next iPhone will feature an improved modem.

In April, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook indicated his company is in no rush to adopt true 4G LTE technology in its products. He admitted that Apple has explored LTE, but the company wasn't ready to make the jump with the launch of a CDMA Verizon iPhone in February.
post #2 of 83
Somehow, I feel unfair that Verizon iP5 doesn't have 4G, but China iP5 does. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am wrong.
post #3 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T is currently rolling out a true LTE 4G network in the U.S., and the carrier's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile would give it more spectrum to expand its coverage.

...

In April, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook indicated his company is in no rush to adopt true 4G LTE technology in its products.

It should be pointed out that LTE is not true 4G.
post #4 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Somehow, I feel unfair that Verizon iP5 doesn't have 4G, but China iP5 does. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am wrong.

Neither LTE nor HSPA+ is 4G. So no one has it. Relax.
post #5 of 83
The same slide lists WCDMA for the prior models, unlike the HSPA which was used for the GSM models in the US. Does China Unicom even have a significant LTE presence? Isn't it possible they are getting a different version of the iPhone than other countries?

That said, I think HSPA+ is the most likely compromise of speed and battery life that we'll see this year, but the marketing around LTE is getting more intense.
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post #6 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Neither LTE nor HSPA+ is 4G. So no one has it. Relax.

LTE is 4G.
post #7 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Somehow, I feel unfair that Verizon iP5 doesn't have 4G, but China iP5 does. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am wrong.

The vast majority of the world has well-deployed HSPA+ networks, some in their third- and fourth-generation. These would really be classed as 3.5G networks, however the ITU partially caved in to the carriers' marketing departments and started calling early generation LTE as well as HSPA+ as "4G" despite neither network can support the 1Gbps download links that official 4G certification requires.

Hence, this isn't really an iPhone 5 built for China's "4G". It's really a iPhone 5 for the world's "4G" with the exception of a handful of CDMA-based networks.
post #8 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

It should be pointed out that LTE is not true 4G.

Ah, beat me to it.

LTE Advance is the first '4G' technology according to the ITU's definition (which is, IIRC, packet switched and offering speeds in excess of 100Mbps).
post #9 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Somehow, I feel unfair that Verizon iP5 doesn't have 4G, but China iP5 does. Maybe I am wrong. I hope I am wrong.

the iPhone 5 will be a global phone. China will get the same one everyone else gets. whether you benefit from the increased speed is determined by your choice in carrier.
post #10 of 83
HSPA+ is the most logical choice for the next iPhone. I can live with 21Mbps speed!
post #11 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

It should be pointed out that LTE is not true 4G.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichyS View Post

Ah, beat me to it.

LTE Advance is the first '4G' technology according to the ITU's definition (which is, IIRC, packet switched and offering speeds in excess of 100Mbps).

Why do you guys have to recite this stuff as if it's fact? Since when are all technical acronyms have to be validated through the ITU-T?. There is no Abbreviation Consortium or FCC-esque commission that is makes HSPA+ '4G' and LTE '4G' any less '4G' to describe a generational change.

Sent from my '4G' iPhone aka iPhone 4.


PS: The ITU-R's definition of '4G' is much more than what I assume is your definition of 100Mb/s downstream. It's complex, covering many points, and has changed many times of the years, and likely to change again.
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post #12 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will feature support for fast HSPA+ 21Mbps network speeds, sometimes advertised as "4G," carrier China Unicom has revealed.

No way. HSPA+ is NOT 4G. It is bullshit. It is not 4G.

Apple will NOT get mixed up with this sort of bullshit. Most people can't access HSPA+ anyways, so Apple can't get involved with this sort of dying bullshit stopgap crapola.

NO WAY!
post #13 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by infobhan View Post

The same slide lists WCDMA for the prior models, unlike the HSPA which was used for the GSM models in the US..

I think you're on to the fact that the slide is probably just a randomly made-up slide and has no bearing in fact. The iPhone 4 (CDMA) was the only iPhone ever to support CDMA. So the fact that they're listing the previous models with CDMA underneath is entirely wrong. Could that also mean they're wrong about the next gen iPhone???
post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

the iPhone 5 will be a global phone. China will get the same one everyone else gets. whether you benefit from the increased speed is determined by your choice in carrier.

It's hard to imagine that will be the case in such a small device. No "global phone" that I've seen have never had more than 2 UMTS bands; the Phone 4 has 5 UMTS bands and uses 4, currently. I've seen it in a much larger, less efficient Qualcomm Gobi chip, but not in a phone. And that is before we get to China Mobile's GSM/TD-SCDMA requirements.
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post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

LTE is 4G.

Nope.
post #16 of 83
judging by this
http://www.att.com/network/

might be a good idea.
post #17 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Why do you guys have to recite this stuff as if it's fact? Since when are all technical acronyms have to be validated through the ITU-T?. There is no Abbreviation Consortium or FCC-esque commission that is makes HSPA+ '4G' and LTE '4G' any less '4G' to describe a generational change.

Sent from my '4G' iPhone aka iPhone 4.

Ignorance should not be so broadly advertised.
post #18 of 83
Sadly, the ITU caved in to the pressure and now classifies both HSPA+ and the first LTE release as 4G technologies.
post #19 of 83
I don't think I've ever seen a more pointless marketing term get a bunch of nerds so riled up like this. People, relax. Just because a marketing team uses something doesn't mean that the world is going to end. Just like our iPhones are marketed at $200/$300, but the actual cost is much higher. Or computer battery life is marketed for longer than it really lasts, or a car's MPG is actually a little lower than the marketed value, or... I could go on and on. Just because some group of people decided to call LTE+ true 4G instead of LTE doesn't mean it's wrong to use the marketing term 4G with a phone. Does Verizon's LTE blow away their 3G speeds? Absolutely, so 4G seems appropriate as a marketing term.
post #20 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by quikbmwkid View Post

judging by this
http://www.att.com/network/

might be a good idea.



Why? Just because ATT is not advertising the old-style iPhone, but is instead focusing on its newest and "best" phones with 4G and big screens?
post #21 of 83
4G is a marketing term anyway, not a technical specification. Anyone who says otherwise is full of it. Demand that your carriers provide real-world average Mbps for peak and off-peak usage. That's the only stat that matters, and none of the carriers are even close to maxing out "3G" technologies by that metric.
post #22 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Sadly, the ITU caved in to the pressure and now classifies both HSPA+ and the first LTE release as 4G technologies.

Let them have their archaic, incorrect notion of a numerical value followed by the letter 'G' is somehow a sacred designation sent by the gods. It's apparent they can't deal with the truth.


Sent from my '4G' iPhone aka iPhone 4.
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post #23 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Let them have their archaic, incorrect notion of a numerical value followed by the letter 'G' is somehow a sacred designation sent by the gods. It's apparent they can't deal with the reality.

Ah yes, reality is whatever the carriers' marketing says.
post #24 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheinside View Post

I think you're on to the fact that the slide is probably just a randomly made-up slide and has no bearing in fact. The iPhone 4 (CDMA) was the only iPhone ever to support CDMA. So the fact that they're listing the previous models with CDMA underneath is entirely wrong. Could that also mean they're wrong about the next gen iPhone???

WCDMA and CDMA, while different by only one letter in their acronym, are entirely different technologies. WCDMA runs on GSM network.
post #25 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Ah yes, reality is whatever the carriers' marketing says.

It's a number followed by a single letter abbreviation. It's not a technical definition. It's colloquial, it's informal. It's not copyrighted. It's not trademarked. It's a number followed by a single letter abbreviation.


PS: The next iPhone will be 5G.
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post #26 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by albatross83 View Post

4G is a marketing term anyway, not a technical specification. Anyone who says otherwise is full of it. Demand that your carriers provide real-world average Mbps for peak and off-peak usage. That's the only stat that matters, and none of the carriers are even close to maxing out "3G" technologies by that metric.

While 3G and 4G have been usurped by carriers' marketing tactics, they are in fact formal technical specifications. If you don't care about formal specifications, fine. Don't say they don't exist just because you are intransigent.
post #27 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's a number followed by a single letter abbreviation. It's not a technical definition.

Of course it is a technical specification.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's colloquial, it's informal.

Of course it is formal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's not copyrighted. It's not trademarked.

And how does that support your arguments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: The next iPhone will be 5G.

Tsk tsk, not your strongest argument. Not your finest moment.
post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

While 3G and 4G have been usurped by carriers' marketing tactics, they are in fact formal technical specifications. If you don't care about formal specifications, fine. Don't say they don't exist just because you are intransigent.

Where it this "formal technical specification" that doesn't allow any other product or technology it's 4th generation as deemed by that entity to use the number 4 and letter G? Where does the ITU-R have this worldwide dominance to say Apple can't refer to the iPhone as the 4th generation iPhone or that Verizon can't say they're forth major network inclusion isn't '4G'? You honestly think it's makes sense for Version to call their CDMA2000 '3G' and then add LTE just to call it '3G'? You honestly don't see how that would be bad for business on several very, very obvious levels?
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post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

LTE is 4G.

100 Mb/s?
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post #30 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

While 3G and 4G have been usurped by carriers' marketing tactics, they are in fact formal technical specifications. If you don't care about formal specifications, fine. Don't say they don't exist just because you are intransigent.

My understanding was that IMT-Advanced was the technical specification that the ITU was proposing should comprise the requirements for devices marketed as 4G. That would not make 4G the technical specification. Additionally, I also can't see how they can impose a definition on a marketing term.

LTE does not meet the IMT-Advanced specs.
post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Nope.

Is too.

Edit: because there seems to be something of a teenaged pride-fight going on about this the facts are:

- LTE was 4G when it was announced, in fact it was the primary 4G technology (according to the International Telecommunication Union which is the relevant authority)
- when "LTE Advanced" was announced regular LTE sort of wasn't 4G for a short while (it was no longer "pure" or some such BS because it's not 100% IP based)
- the International Telecommunication Union then agreed that LTE *was* 4G again as long as it's moving toward "LTE Advanced," (which basically all LTE implementations are.)
post #32 of 83
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post #33 of 83
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post #34 of 83
Just a number followed by a letter?

Some may argue that sticking to formal technical specifications is for geeks and bureaucrats. But it is also important for consumers. Before AT&T was ready to launch their LTE network, they called their HSPA+ network 4G. It's only surprising that now they are not referring to their LTE network as 5G.

Carriers stuck to formal specifications when they deployed 2G and 3G networks. The problem with the current transition to 4G is that the ITU did not include the transitional technologies (e.g. WiMAX, HSPA+, LTE) in its specifications. So the carriers went ahead and labeled everything as 4G for marketing purposes and one-upmanship over each other.

To be fair (or least accurate in historical accounting), the ITU has recently formally include LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+ as 4G, under pressure from the industry. The problem this poses for consumers is that how do they know what they are really getting. What happens when LTE-advanced comes out?

For the average consumer, being confused by marketing is common. In this forum, many of you poo-pooing the (erstwhile) formal definition of 4G are also the same ones who would argue tooth and nail about the definition of a single word on other threads. Why? Because you deem yourselves better informed than the average consumer. So why don the hat of an ignorant hypocrite now?
post #35 of 83
So it's "4G" not 4G.

iPhone 5 at "Faux G" speed.. Cool!
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

My understanding was that IMT-Advanced was the technical specification that the ITU was proposing should comprise the requirements for devices marketed as 4G. That would not make 4G the technical specification. Additionally, I also can't see how they can impose a definition on a marketing term.

LTE does not meet the IMT-Advanced specs.

The problem is that ITU has about as much clout as the UN or WHO. Less, actually. It does not help when you have happy-to-be-ignorant pundits like those here.
post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Tsk tsk, not your strongest argument. Not your finest moment.

I don't think you are getting what he is trying to say. 5G = 5th generation iPhone, which is correct. There are many phones in the market called "something 4G". It doesn't have to mean it is using officially certified 4G networks tech.

A number followed by the letter G doesn't mean it have to conform to any specs. The argument T-Mobile made was that 4G refers to their 4th generation network deployment. First being GRPS, second being EDGE, and third being HSPA.

For the general public it doesn't matter what "G" it is as long as they get the speed.
post #38 of 83
So, will Apple market 2 different iPhones?

3G-CDMA: Sprint, Verizon, 3 mbs
4G-HSPA+: AT&T, 21 mbs

Hard to justify a switch to Sprint even if they offer unlimited....slower and no data/voice multitasking.
post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

To be fair (or least accurate in historical accounting), the ITU has recently formally include LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+ as 4G, under pressure from the industry. The problem this poses for consumers is that how do they know what they are really getting. What happens when LTE-advanced comes out?

Commercials? Salespersons? Opinion and rumor blogs?

Seriously - same problem we have today that all 3Gs aren't the same and some are very unequal. Nothing can take the place of an informed consumer. I just wish we had some more of those in my country.
post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

The problem is that ITU has about as much clout as the UN or WHO. Less, actually. It does not help when you have happy-to-be-ignorant pundits like those here.

I agree that the ITU has no clout. IMT-Advanced is their specification though. I was responding to your comment that 3G and 4G are formal technical specifications rather than marketing terms. If so, where are those specifications defined, and by whom?
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