Photo shows alleged LTE 4G equipment installed at Apple Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new photo claims to show high-speed LTE 4G equipment from AT&T being installed at a "major" Apple retail store, increasing speculation that Apple could launch a 4G device in the near future.



The spy shot of alleged 4G equipment was sent to Engadget by an anonymous source, and is said to show equipment capable of supporting the 700MHz and AWS bands AT&T plans to use for its long-term evolution network.



"The Apple Store in question, and all those in the region, are now trying to increase staffing on the sales floor by about 30 percent, which is apparently not related to the usual hiring in the lead up to the holidays (that will apparently happen later)," the report said.



The new photograph comes on the heels of another recent claim that some of Apple's carrier partners are already testing a 4G-capable LTE iPhone. The prototype handset is rumored to already be in the hands of some carriers, though there has been no indication that the forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone will be a 4G device.



Similarly, the photo of purported 4G hardware at an Apple Store offers no specific indication that Apple's next iPhone will be a 4G device. Author Donald Melanson noted that the hardware could be "the result of some long-term planning," but added that the timing is "curious to say the least."



AT&T plans to have its 4G network available to 70 million customers in 15 markets by the end of 2011. The carrier also announced on Tuesday that its first 4G devices, which will offer high-speed data connections on devices like laptops, will arrive in stores on August 21, and data plans will cost $50 per month for 5GB.



[::image removed upon request of the source::]



Rival carrier Verizon, which also offers the iPhone, already launched its own 4G LTE network in late 2010. Verizon also has a handful of Android-powered handsets that are 4G-capable.



But battery life with many first-generation LTE smartphones has been an achilles heel thus far. Those issues were cited by Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook this April, when he indicated his company was in no rush to adopt 4G.



"The first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make," he said during a quarterly earnings conference call.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    I sure hope that Apple isn't going to have 4G. It kills battery life and attracts data hogs. We're not ready for 4G yet, and until pretty much everybody can get it, its better if nobody gets it. Apple Care would be swamped with people complaining that they just paid huge money for a 4G iPhone that "doesn't work right" because they can't get 4G.



    We don't need it, and we don't want it.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Waiting for someone to tie this to the alleged September event. Then we'll have ourselves a rumor storm!
  • Reply 3 of 37
    ...the problem is getting a damn signal from AT&T in the first place. Their coverage is really bad.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    umairumair Posts: 16member
    Mr.Steve Jobs got an HTC Thunderbolt and he wants to be able to use it in his Apple store
  • Reply 5 of 37
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,611member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    I sure hope that Apple isn't going to have 4G. It kills battery life and attracts data hogs. We're not ready for 4G yet, and until pretty much everybody can get it, its better if nobody gets it. Apple Care would be swamped with people complaining that they just paid huge money for a 4G iPhone that "doesn't work right" because they can't get 4G.



    We don't need it, and we don't want it.



    The crazy house lost a patient
  • Reply 6 of 37
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Question:

    Does 4G scale back to 3G if 4G is not available? Or, as I assume, the chip sets are different, so you have to get one or the other? Thanks in advance.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Maybe Qualquamm pre maded LTE 2nd gen for apple.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I don't want 4G in a phone yet (for the reasons stated above), but I'll be ready for a 4G iPad next spring.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Question:

    Does 4G scale back to 3G if 4G is not available? Or, as I assume, the chip sets are different, so you have to get one or the other? Thanks in advance.



    Good question. There is no 4G service where I work, but I travel a lot, so it would be great is there was a way to switch it off to conserve battery and switch it on when 4G was available and you wanted to go online.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Question:

    Does 4G scale back to 3G if 4G is not available? Or, as I assume, the chip sets are different, so you have to get one or the other? Thanks in advance.



    Yes, these handsets are programmed to fall back to another connection type if the fastest one isn't available.



    LTE > HSPA+ > HSPA > EDGE/GPRS



    Right now, the LTE chip is separate from the chip that covers the other technologies. That's why 4G LTE handsets are bulkier and have poor battery performance (more silicon = more power).



    Some speculate that an LTE chip that can incorporate the other technologies (HSPA+/HSPA/EDGE/GPRS) would be a more suitable candidate for handsets. The only problem is they aren't available in volume. Qualcomm, one of the cellular chipset leaders is scheduled to sample their next gen LTE chip in late 2011, with volume shipments starting in early 2012. "Sampling" is offering a small quantity of pre-release parts for manufacturers to create prototypes with.



    That would put the technology in a prototype sometime in Q4.



    If Apple is imminently ready to ship the iPhone 5, it is way too late in the design timeline to play around with new components. The engineering phases are typically: prototype, Design Verification Test (DVT), Engineering Verification Test (EVT), Process Verification Test (PVT)/ramp, and steady state production.



    If Apple is announcing a new handset in September, by now the hardware components have been finalized and the software team is finalizing iOS 5 so there can be a production ramp of several weeks/a month to build up sufficient inventory for launch.



    The availability of LTE chipset samples in "late 2011" would dovetail nicely in the design schedule of the iPhone 6 (a device that would presumably ship sometime next year).



    Of course, that does not promise that the iPhone 6 will have LTE, just that a more appropriate chipset will be available during the prototyping phase. If other LTE chipset manufacturers have their own solutions, Apple is likely to test those out as well. Each component is probably evaluated based on a number of criteria (price, availability, size, features, performance, etc.) and it is entirely possible that some or none of the offerings are acceptable to a given handset manufacturer (Apple, HTC, Samsung, RIM, etc.).
  • Reply 11 of 37
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzomedici View Post


    ...the problem is getting a damn signal from AT&T in the first place. Their coverage is really bad.



    I'd have to agree. Good 3G coverage provides plenty of bandwidth for my needs. AT&T Needs to look at a different strategy to provide quality service in high density areas. I had four dropped calls standing outside not more than 6 blocks from the nearest tower.



    Thinking they can charge more for service because it is "4G" is also quite a joke. Quality first then we can talk... about reasonable rates...
  • Reply 12 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...and is said to show equipment capable of supporting the 700MHz and AWS bands AT&T plans to use for its long-term evolution network.



    This isn't the first time I've seen this. Why the odd nomenclature of referring to one by its frequency and the other by it's common acronym? 700MHz = SMH and 1700MHz = AWS.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    We don't need it, and we don't want it.



    No... YOU don't need or want it.



    I DO want it (nobody actually NEEDS it.)
  • Reply 14 of 37
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    We don't need it, and we don't want it.



    the past called; it wants its attitude back.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook ... indicated his company was in no rush to adopt 4G.



    "The first generation of LTE chipsets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make," he said during a quarterly earnings conference call. ...



    This statement is irrelevant to any discussion of 4G LTE today though.



    Regardless of whether Apple is using them for the Fall, it's the 2nd generation chips we are talking about now.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    I was a long time IPhone user until last summer when I bought 4 EVO 4Gs for the family. I never would have believed at that time that Apple would still not have a 4G phone on the market.



    I now own a couple of EVO 3D phones (with 4G) so I can give you the rundown on 4G. Just like 3G vs older mobile technologies, a 4G phone will switch back to 3G or whatever other wireless data is available. The EVO 4G does use a bunch of power when in 4G mode, if it cannot find a 4G source that it is expecting to find. Power use in 4G mode when there is no 4G service available is much like leaving your phone on when traveling on an airliner; the phone constantly searches for cell towers but does not find them, so it uses more power than usual. If your phone's list of 4G service (cell towers with 4G) is up to date then the phone is much less likely to end up searching for 4G that isn't actually available. On my much newer EVO 3D the power use in 4G is much lower, I can't be sure why, so it just isn't an issue on a new well designed phone. Of course both EVOs allow the user to turn 4G on or off at will (a button on the first screen to the left of home) so you can always use it as a 3G phone if you like.



    I really liked my IPhones. I resisted buying an Android phone but my son (teenagers know everything) said that I really should, so I finally gave in and got the EVOs. It took all of about 30 minutes to get really comfortable with the Android phone, and once I did I realized that a top of the line Android phone is, to put it bluntly, as good as an IPhone when comparing things that both phones can do. But in addition there are a bunch of things that you can do with the Android phones that you just can't do with the IPhone. Also, apps are generally free, and even the ones that you must pay for are much cheaper than IPhone apps with similar functionality.



    As a side note, once you have used Google maps on Android you will find every other GPS guidance system clunky and outdated. I just bought a new BMW (M3) with the BMW GPS system, and I simply cannot stand to use it. I just park my phone in the armrest and use Google Maps instead. By the way the BMW GPS cost me over $2,000, my phone $500 without contract $200 with contract.



    The Iphone is a good phone. It's easy to use, quite capable, reasonably reliable, reasonably fast, but it is simply not as good in any category as a top of the line Android phone.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    This statement is irrelevant to any discussion of 4G LTE today though.



    Regardless of whether Apple is using them for the Fall, it's the 2nd generation chips we are talking about now.



    Regardless if it's first, second or even third generation if they do use LTE in their next iPhone then they've found the overall user experience in regards to phone size and battery life to to be worthwhile. That seems to be one thing about Apple they are consistently great about.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    I sure hope that Apple isn't going to have 4G. It kills battery life and attracts data hogs. We're not ready for 4G yet, and until pretty much everybody can get it, its better if nobody gets it. Apple Care would be swamped with people complaining that they just paid huge money for a 4G iPhone that "doesn't work right" because they can't get 4G.



    We don't need it, and we don't want it.



    Well there's only two possibilities here really. Either the phone will automatically switch to and from 4G when needed, or there will be a switch in the settings to turn it on and off. In both case the battery will be fine and those that don't need it won't have to use it. I don't see what the problem would be.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Regardless of whether the iPhone will be LTE or not this time around, AT&T is releasing LTE in 5 cities on Aug 21 as well as a new LTE hot spot modem of some sort. That may explain why the new hardware is in the Apple store since Apple probably has agreements with AT&T to provide general public cell service inside the malls where the signal is usually poor due to the issue of the wave length not penetrating building's walls. Apple benefits in that their iPhones perform well at the Apple stores.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,226member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    The crazy house lost a patient



    I am not willing to give up anymore than 5% battery life for LTE. It is that simple.
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