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'iPhone 5' to Support 21 Mbps HSPA+ '4G' Technology


Japanese blog Mac Otakara reports (via MacPost) that a China Unicom executive apparently confirmed during a presentation at this week's Macworld Asia that the "iPhone 5" set to be announced next week will indeed support HSPA+ sometimes-called "4G" technology, offering a maximum theoretical data speed of 21 Mbps (up from 7.2Mbps). A slide showing the information was photographed by Japanese site PC Watch.
Japanese IT news site "PC Watch" tells that, Research vice president of China Unicom, Huan Wenliang, told iPhone 5 will support W-CDMA based high-speed data transfer standard HSPA Evolution "HSPA+" (21Mbps) at keynote speech in Macworld Asia 2011.
Many had been hoping that the next iPhone would support the even faster LTE 4G standard that has begun rolling out on a number of carriers, but rumors have consistently suggested that Apple will hold back on supporting the technology until appropriate chips of acceptable size and power consumption are available to meet Apple's needs. Apple has historically been conservative in adopting the latest cellular network technologies, having elected to release the original iPhone as an EDGE-only device even as many carriers were already rolling out 3G technology.

Claims of the iPhone 5 supporting HSPA+ surfaced earlier this year, with many noting that the move would result in a significant network speed difference between AT&T and Verizon/Sprint customers in the United States. AT&T has rolled out the intermediary HSPA+ technology as a bridge to LTE, and has been calling HSPA+ "4G" in its marketing -- though many believe "3.5G" is a more accurate description. So, existing AT&T iPhone 4 owners upgrading should be able to see a speed boost if they live in a supported area. In comparison, Verizon's data speeds max out a theoretical maximum of 3.1 Mbps. Meanwhile, true 4G (LTE) support for both Verizon and AT&T is not expected until the 2012 iPhone model at the earliest.

Qualcomm's world-mode MDM6600 chip found in the Verizon/CDMA iPhone 4 already supports 14.4 Mbps HSPA+, but the device itself is limited to CDMA networks.

China Unicom is Apple's current carrier partner for the iPhone in China, although China Mobile and China Telecom are also working hard to secure the ability to offer the device.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
Speed is meaningless when you're capped at 2gb. In fact, speed in those cases can be detrimental to your wallet.
Rating: 13 Votes
39 months ago
Faster data is always great, but I wouldn't want to see the iPhone's phenomenal battery life diminish between 4G and a rumored 4" display.


Anyways, glad to hear Apple is pushing the envelope in regards to tech specs.
Stay well MR friends
Rating: 9 Votes
39 months ago
AT&T Grandfather users better be able to keep that unlimited data capacity or I'm never switching from the 4! Unlimited Data FTW!
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago

Speed is meaningless when you're capped at 2gb. In fact, speed in those cases can be detrimental to your wallet.


It would make no difference to a casual user. I would still stream my Spotify, watch my Netflix and browse my Facebook. Just because I get the data faster doesn't mean I'm sucking down more data.

Even if I tethered, I'd still only be downloading the same content I would be downloading even if I had the 3G connection. So I don't see how "4G" would make me rage about my cap?!? :confused:
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago
If I could get 3G speeds on my 4, i'd be cool with that. But I can't have it in my covered home area- for reasons unknown. I get consistently about
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago
Was there ever any doubt of this? The MDM6600 in the Verizon iPhone supports 14.4Mbps HSPA+. Though I do wonder where they get the 21.1Mbps number from.

Qualcomm: http://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2010/03/23/qualcomm-unveils-new-roadmap-gobi-connectivity-technologies

I also have a very strong suspicious that Apple has dictated to AT&T that they aren't allowed to call any iPhone that doesn't have LTE a "4G iPhone" or even mention "4G" in their marketing materials which contain an iPhone. That would REALLY screw up Apple's marketing when an LTE iPhone comes out and people wonder "but I thought my iPhone already had 4G!"
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago

I hate to be pessimistic, but.... Not yet.


nope


As mentioned the hybrid chipset used in the CDMA iPhone is known to support HSPA+ (14.4mbps), so it's almost certain to be supported in the next hybrid iPhone 5.

arn
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago

HSPA+ is still part of UMTS specification. Even if it is the latest and fastest version of this norm, it is still a 3G standard.
It is not an "intermediary".


Honestly, the idea of dividing technologies into 2G, 3G, 4G, etc. is just a marketing gimmick. They all encompass a variety of different technologies which have a range of speeds. Yes, there are official dividing lines, but since they're just marketing gimmicks anyway, it's kind of pointless to argue about what goes in what category. If you really care exactly how fast your connection is, you need to look at the precise technology being used, the same as with a wired connection.
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago
I really don't get all of these whinegasms about speed being a bad thing.

Faux-G is just going to give better quality streaming and faster downloading to those who have been struggling with 3G.

Saying it'll just get you to your cap faster is as silly as saying if you buy a cake and eat it all in one sitting, you wasted your money. Sorry, but if that's what I want to do with my delicious cake, then bug off and let me eat it. If you want to have a slice a day and make it last, good for you.
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago

intermediary HSPA+ technology

HSPA+ is still part of UMTS specification. Even if it is the latest and fastest version of this norm, it is still a 3G standard.
It is not an "intermediary".

EDGE-only device even as many carriers were already rolling out 3G technology

In US, the release of the EDGE iPhone corresponded to the rolling out of 3G network. But in EU, 3G networks were already deployed since a year or 2.
However, 3G cellphones were still limited by the high power usage of 3G chips and had very limited autonomy.

For Apple to deploy a technology, it needs to be ready on all levels : network, terminals and even usage pattern.

For exemple, they skipped video conferencing over 3G network even if such a norm already existed. The reason for this is this norm is very low quality to accommodate even lousy 3G connections. So if a usage pattern is not providing actual added value, Apple might delay or even replace it.
Rating: 5 Votes

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