Originally Posted by KPOM
I think the issue is that Apple would have preferred to wait until the more efficient, smaller 28nm LTE chipsets became widely available (they are just starting to be produced now). The LTE chip they did use is about a year old using a 45nm design. The newer chips also support more frequencies. Since Europe in general is about a year or two behind the US in terms of LTE deployment, Apple likely figured waiting until the next update wouldn't cost them significant sales. In the US, however, there is a big difference between our 3G/HSPA and LTE networks, and lack of LTE would have put the new cellular iPad at a bigger competitive disadvantage.
I guess the rest of the world would have been far happier if Apple had released, say, a 1800/2100 Mhz LTE device instead of a 700/2100 Mhz for AT&T.
1800Mhz has been the surprise growth area for LTE. Almost every GSM operator started with 900, expanding into 1800 to handle growth, and then 3G on 2100. Now as the pressure for data increases they notice that they don't have anywhere near as many people on 2G anymore and 1800 is almost free, and able to be used for LTE without waiting for auctions in 2600 or the TV frequencies to become available.
So an 1800Mhz iPad would have worked on 15 international LTE networks which use 1800Mhz (Australia, Italy, Finland, Germany, France, Poland, Hong Kong, Singapore, and a few more) - sometimes only on one operator in that country, or one of their LTE bands, but at least partially functional. And LTE on 1800 is growing really fast with more and more providers worldwide each month... so a good frequency to use.
An 1800/2100 LTE device would have genuinely been an LTE device on AT&T, but just not on the 700Mhz bit, where it would have to fall back to HSPA which they call 4G anyway. In theory, anyone in this thread who has supported Apple's calling iPad "LTE" outside the US would have to say this is still entirely valid, right? .... a 1800/2100 iPad just wouldn't work quite as well in the US.