Report reaffirms Apple's iPhone 5 won't feature 4G LTE or WiMAX

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Reaffirming months of rumors just hours before Apple's iPhone event, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the next iPhone won't support long-term evolution or WiMAX high-speed 4G data networks.



Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report revealed that Apple's phone will not be compatible with the fastest speed 4G networks. Instead, the so-called "iPhone 5" will operate on the same 3G networks that its predecessor, the iPhone 4, does.



The report also made mention that in the U.S., carrier AT&T advertises its HSPA+ network, which is still technically third-generation technology, has having "4G-like speeds." It did not say whether the next iPhone will support HSPA+, but last month carrier China Unicom let slip that the iPhone 5 is expected to support HSPA+ 21Mbps download speeds.



That's faster than the WCDMA 7.2Mbps theoretical download speeds that have been featured on Apple's handsets since the iPhone 3G, including the iPhone 4 first released in 2010.



In the U.S., both AT&T and Verizon, currently the only two iPhone carriers in the country, are rolling out their own "true" 4G LTE networks. Apple is expected to add Sprint as a carrier for the launch of the iPhone 5; Sprint has its own 4G network powered by WiMAX, a different wireless technology.







The iPhone 5 apparently will not feature 4G network speeds even as competing devices running the Google Android operating system have embraced the technology. But rumors throughout the year have been consistent in saying that the next iPhone will not support 4G networks, even as Apple's competition chooses to do so.



Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated that he is in no rush to bring 4G LTE to the iPhone. While the company has explored its options with LTE, Cook said poor battery life with LTE devices led Apple to pass on 4G technology when it launched its CDMA iPhone on Verizon in February.



Apple will officially announce its fifth-generation iPhone in a media event today at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. AppleInsider will have full live coverage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    chabigchabig Posts: 623member
    Makes sense. AT&T only has LTE in five US cities so far.
  • Reply 2 of 63
    satcomersatcomer Posts: 130member
    Wow! They got an article stating the obvious.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Makes sense. Most of the rest of the world doesn't have functional LTE either.



    There are pockets of LTE, notably in Scandinavia and Germany. The UK, for example, hasn't even started auctioning off spectrum for 4G services yet, meaning they are probably still a couple of years away from a commercial deployment. The world has focused on deploying HSPA+ networks over the past year or two, many of these are in their second, third, or fourth iterations. So, the fifth generation iPhone would logically support HSPA+, not LTE nor WiMAX (the latter is a dead end).



    It's a shame that none of these articles address what the rest of the world is doing, they're hopelessly stuck in an all-American worldview, oblivious to the fact that Apple makes over half of its iPhone revenue from international markets.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    pembrokepembroke Posts: 219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Reaffirming months of rumors just hours before Apple's iPhone event, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the next iPhone won't support long-term evolution or WiMAX high-speed 4G data networks.



    Hmmm, not so comfortable with this. I wouldn't feel happy taking out a long term contract as the latest high speed networks proliferate within the next six months or so. Especially if I lived in a city that has the latest high-speed networks now - whatever you want to cal them, 4G/LTE/WIMAX/PFF ?
  • Reply 5 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pembroke View Post


    Hmmm, not so comfortable with this. I wouldn't feel happy taking out a long term contract as the latest high speed networks proliferate within the next six months or so. Especially if I lived in a city that has the latest high-speed networks now - whatever you want to cal them, 4G/LTE/WIMAX/PFF ?



    And in two years when phones that can be used for more than two hours on LTE come out, you'll think yourself a fool for desiring one now.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    Makes sense. AT&T only has LTE in five US cities so far.



    Not to mention that so far power consumption for the chips has been pretty dramatic if i recall...



    "The new iPhone 5! 7 hours of the 3G talk time, or 27 minutes of 4G!*"



    "*May require special external battery and moving to a different city."
  • Reply 7 of 63
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The iPhone 5 apparently will not feature 4G network speeds even as competing devices running the Google Android operating system have embraced the technology.



    Wow. That is a bold move by Apple.



    Does this mean a new iPhone next June?



    By next fall, will there be a premium phone by any manufacturer (except Apple) that fails to include fast data connections?



    Amazing. I don't get it.



    I'm leaning towards i5 coming out next spring, with a 4S now. That way Apple can sell now and sell later. That is their usual strategy with new devices. They sell a stripped down model to the early adopters, and follow it up shortly with a full(er) featured mass-market product that the EAs buy a second time. Are they extending that strategy to mature products too?
  • Reply 8 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    Amazing. I don't get it.



    It's pretty darn simple.



    No LTE presence in any meaningful amount anywhere in the world.

    No LTE chips that allow for anywhere near decent battery life.



    Bet you were one of the ones whining that the first-gen didn't have 3G.



    Quote:

    I'm leaning towards i5 coming out next spring, with a 4S now.



    Except if a 4S exists now, there can't be an "iPhone 5" later.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    It's a shame that none of these articles address what the rest of the world is doing, they're hopelessly stuck in an all-American worldview, oblivious to the fact that Apple makes over half of its iPhone revenue from international markets.



    As an American, I will have you know that the world stops existing at our border. Except for the occasional rift in space/time that creates a small oil rich country for us to use as bombing practice. Spread your "international" lies elsewhere.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    No biggie. Apple always knows when to jump in...LTE is still too young for the mainstream.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Bet you were one of the ones whining that the first-gen didn't have 3G.







    Except if a 4S exists now, there can't be an "iPhone 5" later.





    No, but I was one of the ones who had zero interest in paying full boat retail for a phone that did not include it. I was amazed then, and I am amazed now.



    Apple soon followed up with a 3G phone, reselling new phones to the early adopters. All I can imagine is that they will repeat the "sell two products to the same customer" strategy once again by soon coming out with a 4G phone.







    Why can't there be an i5 later if all that gets released now is a rehashed i4?
  • Reply 12 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    It's pretty darn simple.



    No LTE presence in any meaningful amount anywhere in the world.

    No LTE chips that allow for anywhere near decent battery life.



    Bet you were one of the ones whining that the first-gen didn't have 3G.



    Actually, VZ has LTE in most of the large cities in the US. Granted if you're out in the country somewhere you're still out of luck. There's really good coverage of it here in Atlanta.



    The chips are a drain, but in all of the android phones that I've seen, you can turn the LTE radio off when you're not actively using the connection and save on battery life that way. Not an ideal solution, but it works.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Except if a 4S exists now, there can't be an "iPhone 5" later.



    Sure there can. What do you think they'd call it? This makes no sense.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post


    Actually, VZ has LTE in most of the large cities in the US.



    Which obviously comprises the entire planet and the only place Apple sells iPhones.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    Why can't there be an i5 later if all that gets released now is a rehashed i4?



    Quote:

    Sure there can. What do you think they'd call it? This makes no sense.



    Uh, iPhone 6. Because it would be the sixth model.



    "Hey, guys."



    "Hey, Mr. Cook."



    "Working on the new iPhone, I see."



    "Yep, we just need a name for this SIXTH iteration of our iPhone hardware that has the ASIX chip inside and is running iOS SIX."



    "Let me just check something."



    "??"



    "Welp, people on rumor forums who don't seem to understand the progression of the numbers one through ten want it to be called the iPhone 5, even though there's absolutely nothing about it physically nor anything about its features that would warrant it being called that."



    "?"



    "Well, get to it."
  • Reply 14 of 63
    as a person who lives in an area with LTE, I have to say I am disappointed
  • Reply 15 of 63
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by arrowspark View Post


    as a person who lives in an area with LTE, I have to say I am disappointed



    As a person who won't live in an area with LTE until late, LATE 2014, I'm thrilled.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Uh, iPhone 6. Because it would be the sixth model.



    "Hey, guys."



    "Hey, Mr. Cook."



    "Working on the new iPhone, I see."



    "Yep, we just need a name for this SIXTH iteration of our iPhone hardware that has the ASIX chip inside and is running iOS SIX."



    "Let me just check something."



    "…?"



    "Welp, people on rumor forums who don't seem to understand the progression of the numbers one through ten want it to be called the iPhone 5, even though there's absolutely nothing about it physically nor anything about its features that would warrant it being called that."



    "…"



    "Well, get to it."



    I am truly grateful that Apple doesn't use this bboard (and other tech media site forums) as "market research."



    Those guys probably visit these sites when they want a cheap laugh.



  • Reply 17 of 63
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    As a person who won't live in an area with LTE until late, LATE 2014, I'm thrilled.



    And as a person who cares about battery life and the bulkiness of the handset, I'm thrilled too.



  • Reply 18 of 63
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Think I can wait and see....
  • Reply 19 of 63
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    And in two years when phones that can be used for more than two hours on LTE come out, you'll think yourself a fool for desiring one now.



    Not very accurate.......I have a Droid Bionic on Verizon LTE and get download speeds of 15MB and my battery lasts 14 to 18 hours depending on how much I use it that day......

    Verizon 4G LTE...

    http://network4g.verizonwireless.com/#/coverage
  • Reply 20 of 63
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    I have to assume Apple feels 4G technology has not matured to the point where they feel they can include it in their handsets without causing something about the user experience to degrade. Hasn't that always been their standard, anyway? Seems it's always been "don't degrade the user experience". Whether at this point it's battery life or handset size (or both), I don't know.



    My guess is we'll see an LTE iPhone as soon as the next generation of chipsets are out there which overcome the negatives.
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