Originally Posted by SolipsismX
They release a Verizon CDMA model, a Sprint CDMA model and an AT&T GSM model in the US so I don't think that having LTE for the US and not having LTE for countries that don't yet support LTE is a big deal.
I understand your point and I think it's valid in one aspect but invalid if your solution is to wait for all countries that sell the iPhone to get LTE before Apple offers it in an iDevice. The reason '3G' wasn't in the original iPhone wasn't because of the cellular coverage but because the chips were too poor to be viable. Now we're at 3rd generation LTE and I would bet money that the power draw is better than the '3G' in the 2nd gen iPhone.
Are the CDMA and GSM iPads not the same using a universal chip? I just assumed so, but here in the UK we don't have the two rival systems so I haven't seen this in the wild. Apple worked towards that solution with the iPhone because they wanted simplicity and therefore economy of scale benefits.
I agree a US-only LTE model is possible, but I just find it unlikely in the extreme. I'm also not convinced that such a model could be made without adding more than 0.81mm of bulk and hurting battery life. I'm not convinced the latest chips are such game-changers, but I defer to you if you know better. However, bear in mind that this new iPad is widely expected to have a double-resolution display. That will also hurt battery life and add bulk in itself. Adding LTE at the same time is a double-whammy of design hurt. That's an awful lot of new tech to squeeze in only adding 0.81mm...This is Apple though, so who knows.
I don't expect Apple to wait for LTE to be widely available globally before it creates a 4G iDevice, I just don't think this launch is the time for it. Even in the US 4G is not anywhere near as widely available as the carriers would have you believe.
In the summer we may see a 4G iPhone. I think this for two reasons:
1) Apple actually has competition in the phone sector. 4G Androids may be utter vanity but Joe Public doesn't know that. Competitors, aided by the carriers who they are in bed with, will push the rival 4G phones as more advanced by virtue of this currently useless technology. I swear it already happens here in the UK where there is zero 4G coverage. That might induce Apple to bring this functionality to the iPhone earlier than they otherwise would. That said, Apple have shown remarkable resilience to such pressure in the past, refreshingly so.
2) The next iPhone will likely be a new design. From what I've read I get the impression Steve Jobs worked on it himself and didn't have a lot to do with the iterative upgrade that was the 4S. The new shape will be designed to last 2 years one would have thought. Within that product cycle, LTE will make sense. I find it hard to think that Apple would plan ahead to 2014 without LTE in an iPhone so the 2012 chassis would be designed to accommodate it.
I guess we'll soon see. I just think Apple is under no pressure with the iPad whatsoever and will do what is best for its design. For me, that's not adding LTE yet.