Apple's fifth-gen iPhone may support dual model GSM/CDMA but not LTE

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will be capable of running on networks based on both of the world's most popular 3G wireless standards but will forgo support for the faster 4G networks that are just now coming online, according to a new report.



Citing rumors that stem back to last November, TechCrunch claims that Apple's next major iPhone revision will run on both GSM and CDMA networks -- presumably via a dual-mode Qualcomm baseband chip -- but won't support the next-generation of faster, Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, more communally referred to as 4G networks.



Instead, the Cupertino-based company will reportedly take a less aggressive approach that will see it delay the iPhone's support of 4G networks until some time in 2012, allowing it to bypass the first generation of power-hungry and potentially problematic LTE baseband controllers in favor of boosting its efforts around proprietary technologies like FaceTime.



Such an approach would mirror Apple's efforts with the launch of the original iPhone, which only supported AT&T's robust 2.5G EDGE network despite broad availability of the faster 3G technology around the same time.



"Apple simply doesn?t want to be the guinea pig on new LTE networks that aren?t ready for primetime, and Steve Jobs knows not to trust the hype that?s spewed by the carriers on 4G," the report says. "The truth is that 3G networks have many more years of life, and the transition to LTE will be much slower than the carriers want you to believe (LTE doesn?t even have its voice standard fleshed out yet)."



It's for these reasons, the report adds, that AT&T has been upgrading its network for broader support of the faster, HSPA+ -- or so called 3.5G -- standard while Verizon has been working to implement an enhancement to the CDMA standard that will let future devices transmit both data and voice communications simultaneously.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Just like with 3G, they were among the last to include it, as they waited until performance was acceptable.



    So it will be, with 4G.



    I've said it dozens of times before, I believe the iPhone will not be fully 4G until 2012 earliest.



    I'm still waiting for the HSPDA+ that AT&T has been "rolling out" for 3 years.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, more communally referred to as 4G networks.





    more communally
  • Reply 3 of 39
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    more communally



    In Soviet Russia, phone networks long term evolve you!



    Comrade!
  • Reply 4 of 39
    Makes sense to me. Why build in unsupported features at the cost of battery life and have an entire iPhone generation out there to test the crap that VZ and others are rolling out.



    About as useful as having MMS and tethering available from AT&T - doesn't matter if the phone supports it if it is not turned on but in a few small places.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    I got a question for those who know the 3G to 3.9G transition.



    Let's say all the latest/ data consuming smart phones from Motorola and HTC move on over to 3.9G. Would that free up the space for 3G users, and maybe make iPhone actually faster during that time. In other words, will there be a jam in the freshly released LTE, leaving more bandwidth available to those on 3G?
  • Reply 6 of 39
    This makes sense. 4G, even though it's not really true 4G, isn't ready for primetime. The battery life is currently unacceptable. It isn't proven yet in the US and as a poster already said, maybe 2012 at the earliest.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,148member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theAppleMan912 View Post


    I dont get why is is such a problem not to include an undeveloped not widely adopted network standard. People switch to verizon as they have better overall coverage and speeds.



    Verizon has better coverage, but slower speeds. The CDMA systems they use are slower that what AT&T is using on GSM.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    I have read that the dual tech UMTS/CDMA phones are very complex... need separate power amps, etc. Plus royalties to QCOM and the UMTS group. QCOM alone charges 5.5%.... that is $35/phone. UMTS royalties got to be at least that much ex QCOM. Extra RF circuits and incremental chipset cost at least another $20. So we are talking nearly +$100. Only few subs roam outside the US.



    It certainly does not make sense to have this kind of phone as a universal phones since CDMA is less than 15% of global handsets. The CDMA tech will be phased out. Even just for VZ it is too expensive, if we factor lower subsidies from ATT due to the loss of monopoly.



    At best, it makes sense just to do a CDMA phone for the minority carriers.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Just like with 3G, they were among the last to include it, as they waited until performance was acceptable.



    So it will be, with 4G.



    I've said it dozens of times before, I believe the iPhone will not be fully 4G until 2012 earliest.



    I'm still waiting for the HSPDA+ that AT&T has been "rolling out" for 3 years.



    Considering that most of their network is still 2.5g, I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Considering that most of their network is still 2.5g, I wouldn't hold my breath.



    Over 70% of AT&T's customers are on 3G. That's certainly more than those on 2.5.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    I got a question for those who know the 3G to 3.9G transition.



    Let's say all the latest/ data consuming smart phones from Motorola and HTC move on over to 3.9G. Would that free up the space for 3G users, and maybe make iPhone actually faster during that time. In other words, will there be a jam in the freshly released LTE, leaving more bandwidth available to those on 3G?



    The rollout of LTE on both AT&T and Verizon (ie 3.9G) involves entirely different sets of frequencies. Verizon won the FCC auction to get a nationwide spectrum in the 700MHz band and AT&T won almost as good a spectrum in the 850MHz band. What this means is that LTE networks will not utilize the same frequencies as current 3G networks, BUT and this is IMPORTANT, if the carriers colocate their 3G and 3.9G facilities (likely) that means that BOTH will share the backhaul connection from the cell tower to the internet. AT&T has been investing literally billions to upgrade their backhaul connections to fiber in anticipation of LTE and to resolve existing bottlenecks in areas like SFO and NYC. Verizon has been a little tighter lipped about their backhaul network, but they do have major expertise in fiber backhaul (ie FiOS). At the same time, Verizon's current EVDO RevA data network runs at significantly slower speeds as compared to AT&T and as such would likely play nicer on a common backhaul connection.



    So, short answer, probably...
  • Reply 12 of 39
    aiolosaiolos Posts: 228member
    I love how AI reports this as "news". Anyone could see this coming. Everyone harps on about how VZ is getting a CDMA-only phone. It doesn't make sense for Apple to develop a CDMA only phone. Apple loves simplicity, and having 2 phones is not simple (different marketing/product deistribution, separate development costs, etc.). A dual band phone was the only realistic option.



    As for the support of LTE, it makes sense for a couple reasons as to why Apple would not include it in the first version of the iPhone that has GSM and CDMA support. First of all, LTE is not ready for primetime and thus will only waste battery life for most people as it continuously searches for an LTE network that is not in place (though people could feasibly turn it off, though Apple wouldn't want to make people do this, their technology is supposed to "just work" and be very simple). Second, if Apple introduces a CDMA/GSM/LTE phone the following summer (2012) when AT&T and Verizon's LTE networks actually have some coverage, then it will be marketed as a big speed/network upgrade and will result in more people upgrading/more money for Jobs and Apple. Apple doesn't want to give you everything at once, as it results in lower profits.



    My prediction is that a GSM/CDMA phone will be released in the summer of 2011, and then a GSM/CDMA/LTE phone the following year. Yet there is still another factor that everyone also seems to ignore, which is that the iPhone was introduced in Jan 2007 and sold in June 2007. AT&T received a 5 year exclusivity agreement, which means no VZ phone until 2012. However, iirc some reports said that the agreement might end a year early, which would thus be perfectly timed for a summer GSM/CDMA iPhone. Also, the summer release would time in perfectly to when VZ finishes revising their CDMA network (to Rev. B) to support simultaneous voice/data, which is essential to a complete iPhone experience (i.e. the commercials that showed a guy looking up some info for a friend while on the phone with him at the same time).
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Just common sense and rumors. Theres no substantiation to any of this at this point in time.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will be capable of running on networks based on both of the world's most popular 3G wireless standards but will forgo support for the faster 4G networks that are just now coming online, according to a new report.



    Citing rumors that stem back to last November, TechCrunch claims that Apple's next major iPhone revision will run on both GSM and CDMA networks -- presumably via a dual-mode Qualcomm baseband chip -- but won't support the next-generation of faster, Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, more communally referred to as 4G networks.



    Instead, the Cupertino-based company will reportedly take a less aggressive approach that will see it delay the iPhone's support of 4G networks until some time in 2012, allowing it to bypass the first generation of power-hungry and potentially problematic LTE baseband controllers in favor of boosting its efforts around proprietary technologies like FaceTime.



    Such an approach would mirror Apple's efforts with the launch of the original iPhone, which only supported AT&T's robust 2.5G EDGE network despite broad availability of the faster 3G technology around the same time.



    "Apple simply doesn?t want to be the guinea pig on new LTE networks that aren?t ready for primetime, and Steve Jobs knows not to trust the hype that?s spewed by the carriers on 4G," the report says. "The truth is that 3G networks have many more years of life, and the transition to LTE will be much slower than the carriers want you to believe (LTE doesn?t even have its voice standard fleshed out yet)."



    It's for these reasons, the report adds, that AT&T has been upgrading its network for broader support of the faster, HSPA+ -- or so called 3.5G -- standard while Verizon has been working to implement an enhancement to the CDMA standard that will let future devices transmit both data and voice communications simultaneously.



    LoL... I think people consider AT&T's EDGE network many things, but I don't think that "robust" is one of the words that they use.
  • Reply 15 of 39
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,148member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aiolos View Post


    I love how AI reports this as "news". Anyone could see this coming. Everyone harps on about how VZ is getting a CDMA-only phone. It doesn't make sense for Apple to develop a CDMA only phone. Apple loves simplicity, and having 2 phones is not simple (different marketing/product deistribution, separate development costs, etc.). A dual band phone was the only realistic option.



    As for the support of LTE, it makes sense for a couple reasons as to why Apple would not include it in the first version of the iPhone that has GSM and CDMA support. First of all, LTE is not ready for primetime and thus will only waste battery life for most people as it continuously searches for an LTE network that is not in place (though people could feasibly turn it off, though Apple wouldn't want to make people do this, their technology is supposed to "just work" and be very simple). Second, if Apple introduces a CDMA/GSM/LTE phone the following summer (2012) when AT&T and Verizon's LTE networks actually have some coverage, then it will be marketed as a big speed/network upgrade and will result in more people upgrading/more money for Jobs and Apple. Apple doesn't want to give you everything at once, as it results in lower profits.



    My prediction is that a GSM/CDMA phone will be released in the summer of 2011, and then a GSM/CDMA/LTE phone the following year. Yet there is still another factor that everyone also seems to ignore, which is that the iPhone was introduced in Jan 2007 and sold in June 2007. AT&T received a 5 year exclusivity agreement, which means no VZ phone until 2012. However, iirc some reports said that the agreement might end a year early, which would thus be perfectly timed for a summer GSM/CDMA iPhone. Also, the summer release would time in perfectly to when VZ finishes revising their CDMA network (to Rev. B) to support simultaneous voice/data, which is essential to a complete iPhone experience (i.e. the commercials that showed a guy looking up some info for a friend while on the phone with him at the same time).



    AT&T is running 3G on 850 MHz.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aiolos View Post


    I love how AI reports this as "news". Anyone could see this coming. Everyone harps on about how VZ is getting a CDMA-only phone. It doesn't make sense for Apple to develop a CDMA only phone. Apple loves simplicity, and having 2 phones is not simple (different marketing/product deistribution, separate development costs, etc.). A dual band phone was the only realistic option.



    As for the support of LTE, it makes sense for a couple reasons as to why Apple would not include it in the first version of the iPhone that has GSM and CDMA support. First of all, LTE is not ready for primetime and thus will only waste battery life for most people as it continuously searches for an LTE network that is not in place (though people could feasibly turn it off, though Apple wouldn't want to make people do this, their technology is supposed to "just work" and be very simple). Second, if Apple introduces a CDMA/GSM/LTE phone the following summer (2012) when AT&T and Verizon's LTE networks actually have some coverage, then it will be marketed as a big speed/network upgrade and will result in more people upgrading/more money for Jobs and Apple. Apple doesn't want to give you everything at once, as it results in lower profits.



    My prediction is that a GSM/CDMA phone will be released in the summer of 2011, and then a GSM/CDMA/LTE phone the following year. Yet there is still another factor that everyone also seems to ignore, which is that the iPhone was introduced in Jan 2007 and sold in June 2007. AT&T received a 5 year exclusivity agreement, which means no VZ phone until 2012. However, iirc some reports said that the agreement might end a year early, which would thus be perfectly timed for a summer GSM/CDMA iPhone. Also, the summer release would time in perfectly to when VZ finishes revising their CDMA network (to Rev. B) to support simultaneous voice/data, which is essential to a complete iPhone experience (i.e. the commercials that showed a guy looking up some info for a friend while on the phone with him at the same time).



    I really don't see Apple working on a dual chip phone, I think the it would be to costly with little benefit and I'm not sure you would actually see much demand for that. I don't doubt them waiting on LTE. If it advances to a point where a simple firmware upgrade would resolve power issue then they may actually build it into the phone but activating it would be unlikely until they feel the positives would outweigh the negatives. Right now people would rather have their battery life last all day than have the ability to use LTE should they happen to be in one of the very few LTE areas.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    I have no idea how well Verizon will implement it's LTE network, but earlier this year I did go buy Sprint's Overdrive 4G WIMax/3G box thinking that it would be really handy to carry around for use with my Wifi iPad and also the occasional need to have a backup to cable modem (in the home office) for the rare but inconvenient occasions where the service goes down.



    I ended up being pretty disappointed with the service and returned it after 3 days of messing with it. I live in Houston, which is one of the cities that is supposed to be supported, but in driving around there were precious few places that the 4G worked. At home even 3G service was pretty spotty despite being well within the coverage area.



    Lots of people complain about AT&T, and I'm sure there are legitimate gripes, but where I am and the places I travel to, the service is really very good.



    Sprint 4G may be decent for what I wanted it for given a little time, but it ain't there yet, and I am not about to pay $60 a month while they're trying to figure it out.



    Apple has tended not to jump on the bleeding edge in favor of putting out a product that will give the customer a great experience. If these latest round of rumors have any veracity, I think that they would be doing the right thing.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,672moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    in favor of boosting its efforts around proprietary technologies like FaceTime.



    Facetime is an open standard so probably not proprietary but anyhow, faster data networks would let people use it anywhere not just over wifi so pursuing Facetime shouldn't be at the expense of faster data networks.



    The network providers should be driving towards data only so that when the encryption fails in standard communication protocols (like now), they can update it and use the data network just the same. There would also be no call-time charges, just data charges.



    IMO, given the usage model of the iPhone, LTE and 4G are more important than CDMA. CDMA just means paying someone else for poor service.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post


    Just common sense and rumors. Theres no substantiation to any of this at this point in time.





    BORING. Verizon Already stated that they will have 5 LTE phones available in the Spring of 2011.

    What I'm (was) hoping for in addition would be also an iphone 4g that's 4G! That would be nuts.



    Vodaphone & China Unicomm are also gearing up around the same time.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    Qualcomm is currently testing the MDM9600 which supports CDMA 2000, EVDO Rev B, SVDO, UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE. Apple will most likely use this cellular modem chip in the next iPhone in Q3 2011. Here in Canada Rogers Communications announced last week that they are in the process of upgrading their HSPA+ (3.5G) network to support LTE (4G) in 2011. Rogers current top speed is 21 Mbps over HSPA+ and stated LTE will provide up to 150 Mbps.
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