Originally Posted by solipsism
This is getting the thread back on track. It seems like Apple would want to keep these phones on the most similar data speed planes possible. But can LTE be added to a device the size of the iPhone along with all the other cellular tech and still get good battery life? I'm not so sure.
Neither was Tim Cook; earlier this year, he mentioned "design compromises" that made LTE unfeasible at the time.
Let's face it, Apple has LTE-equipped iPhone prototypes somewhere in a lab in Cupertino. They have probably sampled every single LTE chipset available and they still can't find a part that is suitable for their design specifications. What we know right now, there is no LTE chip that includes the functions of the Qualcomm Gobi (GSM/UTMS/HSPA/HSPA+ as well as CDMA/EV-DO). That means a separate chip for LTE which implies bulk and power drain.
Next generation LTE chipsets are supposed to be sampled in Q4 of this year, with volume shipments early 2012. That doesn't work in the prototyping schedule for the upcoming iPhone 5 which likely had its final hardware components selected 2-3 months ago. When cellular chip manufacturers come up with their next generation designs, I'm certain that Apple will be amongst the first companies to sample the chips and stick them into prototypes.
The fact of the matter is that someone at Apple is rather picky of the components that go into the phone and is sensitive about how those parts relate to the overall user experience. That person's name was Steve and he probably green lighted the final fifth-generation iPhone design.
It remains to be seen who will make those final design decisions in future products, but if they are true Apple folks, they will likely be thinking, "What would Steve do?"