Apple now reviewing potential components for next-gen LTE iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


Apple is reportedly moving along with development of its next-generation iPhone, and is now reviewing parts submitted by suppliers for potential use.



Apple is currently in the midst of a testing and evaluation period with potential components, investment firm Barclays reported Wednesday in a research note obtained by AppleInsider. Among the parts Apple is expected to utilize are Qualcomm's "MDM9615" LTE chip, which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed 4G networks.



That chip would be a change from the new iPad, which features Qualcomm's "MDM9600" modem. But that hardware only offers data connections over 4G LTE, not voice.



Like the iPhone 4S, the next iPhone is expected to be a "world" device compatible with a variety of 4G LTE networks. That's different from the new iPad, which comes in two different models compatible with Verizon and AT&T wireless networks in the U.S.



In addition to Qualcomm, companies that are said to be supplying potential components to Apple are chipmakers Skyworks Solutions, TriQuint Semiconductor, and Avago Technologies.











Barclays sees Skyworks Solutions emerging as a likely winner with Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, which it expects will launch this September. For Apple, the addition of a 4G LTE radio is expected to cost between $3 and $10 extra versus the 3G radio in the iPhone 4S.



The timeframe presented by Barclays aligns with a report from last month which indicated that the next iPhone will arrive in September or October of this year. That would be about one year after the arrival of the iPhone 4S, which marked the change of Apple's typical iPhone launches in June or July.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    kingkueikingkuei Posts: 137member
    When the article says "voice", does that mean support for VoLTE?
  • Reply 2 of 45
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingKuei View Post


    When the article says "voice", does that mean support for VoLTE?



    Yes, the MDM9615 should support Voice over LTE, though Verizon and AT&T won't be turning it on their networks until next year.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    But I thought AT&T iPhones are already "4G". And all that's required is updating to iOS 5.1
  • Reply 4 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    But I thought AT&T iPhones are already "4G". And all that's required is updating to iOS 5.1



    I'm still sad about that.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Yes, the MDM9615 should support Voice over LTE, though Verizon and AT&T won't be turning it on their networks until next year.



    In theory, however the standard for VoLTE is still yet to be finalized.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Isn't it a little late in the cycle to be reviewing potential hardware components. I would have thought they would be testing prototypes by now.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,006member
    Considering how many people are whining about the iPad3 sucking up 4G bandwidth caps, best we just keep the iPhone on 3G right?



    Oh wait, then those same whiners will complain that the iPhone is stuck on 3G.



    Ugh... I give up. </s>
  • Reply 8 of 45
    jason98jason98 Posts: 768member
    Seems like it's too late to choose components for a product release in just 5 months. They supposed to have assembled prototypes in testing already. Most likely they are talking about iPhone 2013.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Considering how many people are whining about the iPad3 sucking up 4G bandwidth caps, best we just keep the iPhone on 3G right?



    Oh wait, then those same whiners will complain that the iPhone is stuck on 3G.



    Ugh... I give up. </s>



    Makes me wonder about all the other LTE phones out there. Are they getting slammed with overages?



    I don't use my iPhone very much away from WIFI anyway. But when I do it's sloooow!!!



    I'd gladly use an LTE iPhone.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple now reviewing potential components for next-gen LTE iPhone.



    No shit?



    And here I was thinking that the iPhone 4S would be the last one!



    (It must be a slow news day).
  • Reply 11 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Isn't it a little late in the cycle to be reviewing potential hardware components. I would have thought they would be testing prototypes by now.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


    Seems like it's too late to choose components for a product release in just 5 months. They supposed to have assembled prototypes in testing already. Most likely they are talking about iPhone 2013.



    That's my understanding. I will be surprised if Apple doesn't choose MDM9615.



    The bigger unknown is what they will choose for the Apple A6.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    hosshoss Posts: 69member
    I'll bet the next five iPhones are in the lab. Although, the one five years out is likely still on a whiteboard where a couple of Apple theoretical physicists and chemists are ironing out whether or not Apple's goals will be in agreement with the laws of physics and chemistry.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    jumperjumper Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


    Seems like it's too late to choose components for a product release in just 5 months. They supposed to have assembled prototypes in testing already. Most likely they are talking about iPhone 2013.



    No...Apple for sure is already testing the Iphone 5. My guess is that they have a lot of them made already. What I think the article is pertaining to is volume amounts for when they go into production. Because this is going to be the 'mother of all releases', my take is they will be in full production by July of this year for a Sept release.



    I can't even image how big this product release is going to be. Everyone I know is really ready for a 4.2 (?) screen, A6 cpu, 4G, and 4.0 bluetooth just to name a few of the features. And a new design......I'm READY.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Cool. I'm due for an upgrade by then.
  • Reply 15 of 45
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hoss View Post


    I'll bet the next five iPhones are in the lab. Although, the one five years out is likely still on a whiteboard where a couple of Apple theoretical physicists and chemists are ironing out whether or not Apple's goals will be in agreement with the laws of physics and chemistry.



    I wouldn't say 5, but this upcoming and one maybe two more sounds more reasonable. Maybe the other two are still on a sketchpad somewhere.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Isn't it a little late in the cycle to be reviewing potential hardware components. I would have thought they would be testing prototypes by now.



    Yea I thought the same thing. But if this is the case then I think a fall release is definitely set in stone. Even a possible later release date as well.



  • Reply 17 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I wouldn't say 5, but this upcoming and one maybe two more sounds more reasonable. Maybe the other two are still on a sketchpad somewhere.



    I'd say 5 years only in the sense that there are ideas Apple developing today that won't be ready for 5 years.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    Is it possible to make a "world" LTE phone? The new iPad is not "world" LTE, although it is "world" 3G. Is there a single chip solution available for a "world" LTE?
  • Reply 19 of 45
    Note the PA (Packet Access, i.e. 3G/4G data and voice) bands shown in the diagram:



    Band 2 is 1900 Mhz PCS used in the U.S. by AT&T

    Band 5 is 850 Mhz used in the U.S. by AT&T



    Band 1 is 2100 Mhz IMT used in Europe & elsewhere

    Band 8 is 900 Mhz GSM used in Europe & elsewhere



    Band 4 is 1700 Mhz AWS used in the U.S. by T-Mobile



    Band 13 is 700 Mhz used in the U.S. by Verizon for LTE

    Band 17 is 700 Mhz used in the U.S. by AT&T for LTE



    Yes, if this diagram is accurate (though it's likely mostly speculative at this time), band 4 means this iPhone could support 3G on T-Mobile in the U.S.



    Admittedly AT&T also has some 1700 Mhz spectrum, which they are planning on using for LTE, but it's not deployed, yet.



    Unfortunately non-U.S. LTE bands, like the 2.6 GHz IMT-E band 7 planned for LTE in Europe (already in use for data in Stockholm and Oslo) are left out.



    At least this diagram shows both AT&T and Verizon LTE bands together. If it's accurate, then, there would only need to be a single iPhone model for LTE on both carriers, like the iPhone 4S does 3G on both carriers, and unlike the iPad 2 and new iPad, which require separate models for each.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post


    Is it possible to make a "world" LTE phone? The new iPad is not "world" LTE, although it is "world" 3G. Is there a single chip solution available for a "world" LTE?



    It's possible it just depends on many LTE bands that can be supported. For instance, the iPhone 4S and iPad are not full 3G world mode devices because they don't support every 3G band (or even every 3G mobile tech). Examples would be T-Mobile USA's AWS band and China Mobile's TD-SCDMA tech.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lun_Esex View Post


    Yes, if this diagram is accurate (though it's likely mostly speculative at this time), band 4 means this iPhone could support 3G on T-Mobile in the U.S.



    The basebands in Apple's phones have been "capable" of supporting AWS for at least a couple years now, the problem is that there has been a limitation to the number of bands you can support at one time and whether you want to add the auxiliary components for the RF transceivers.



    For example, Apple has been using a WiFi/BT/FM radio chip for years but never enabled the FM radio. They allow introduced the iPhone 4 as a penta-band phone to the FCC but never activated the 5th band, which I think was only used by Japan's largest MNO.



    So while I hope T-Mobile USA comes aboard for the sake of completeness I am not holding my breath. Personally I'd much prefer that China Mobile to come aboard first if it's an issue of one or the other.
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