Carriers Testing LTE-Enabled iPhone?

BGR reports that Apple appears to already be testing a 4G LTE-enabled iPhone with carriers, as evidenced by a special internal carrier test build of iOS carrying a property list file for LTE compatibility.

While we can’t confirm that the upcoming fifth-generation iPhone will be able to support 4G LTE, we can now exclusively confirm that Apple’s carrier partners are testing iPhone models with LTE capability. BGR has obtained evidence of an internal iOS test build from one of Apple’s major carrier partners, and buried in the firmware is a property list (.plist file) for LTE.

The iPhone 5 is expected to support HSPA+ technology for GSM networks, which is being marketed by many carriers as "4G", but carriers are also beginning their rollouts of 4G LTE networks that will bring even faster data speeds. Apple has indicated, however, that it has been reluctant to adopt LTE technology so far due to a lack of appropriate chipsets, with size, power and other issues forcing design compromises that Apple has been unwilling to make. LTE chips suitable for Apple's needs are reportedly set to debut in early 2012.

iphone lte plist bgr
It should come as no surprise that Apple has been testing LTE technology for the iPhone as it seeks to find the proper time to deploy the functionality. Apple has notably been conservative in adopting the latest cellular technology standards, as evidenced by the original iPhone debuting with only EDGE capabilities when a number of carriers had already begun building out their 3G networks.

Tag: bgr.com
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

gibbz Avatar
141 months ago
I would bet on iPhone 6. Given Apple's demands for battery life, it doesn't seem likely right now.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
141 months ago
I would be fine as long as the iPhone 5 had HSPA+. It is a pretty good jump from 3g and i don't expect LTE to be really anywhere any time soon.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lifeinhd Avatar
141 months ago
I've been testing an LTE device for work-- the LG Revolution. I understand completely why Apple is reluctant to adopt the technology. The phone is a piece of crap. I take it off the charger at 8 AM, the battery is dead by 1 PM with very light use. The phone is enormous, and thicker than the original iPad. LTE isn't available everywhere, so a lot of the time the phone is on 3G anyways. And finally, the phone can't smoothly transition from 4G->3G or 3G->4G; there's a small period where the phone will actually drop the connection for a second and pages will refuse to load.

I won't be complaining in the slightest if Apple holds out til 2012 for LTE.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Biolizard Avatar
141 months ago
Before any LTE-fanboys suddenly soil their underwear in the manner which is normally restricted to 2am in the morning, huddled over your MBP (contents of screen shall not be discussed) hoping your parents are fast asleep...

As we've seen from the 3G-MBP, Apple tests lots of stuff, and not all of it makes it to production, or at least not necessarily that quickly. This in no way 'proves' that iPhone 5 will have LTE. It's evidence for it, but given Apple's stance on what are currently very power consuming chips, IMO iPhone 6 is the more likely contender.

What it does show is that Apple's research team are doing the sensible, and tbh expected, thing of trying to work out how best to get LTE technology into a phone in such a way that its inclusion is acceptable to the top brass. The iPhone and iPad were under development for years and only saw the light of day when Steve thought they were ready. LTE will come, but not necessarily right away.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lochias Avatar
141 months ago
HW, code, and carrier testing

Hardware support of LTE != Carrier testing. Code is needed to support any hardware, even if it were just a bunch of parts on a circuit board.


What am I missing? The starting point here is the report of "testing a 4G LTE-enabled iPhone with carriers" and "evidence of an internal iOS test build ... buried in the firmware."

LTR-enabled iPhone + internal iOS test build == hardware and code.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DMVillain Avatar
141 months ago
Speculation

I could be wrong, but isn't the fact that the carriers are testing it, not just apple, prove that it is more imminent than we suspected?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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