When Apple delayed the launch of the fifth generation iPhone to fall this year, some industry experts felt that this could give Apple enough time to add support for 4G LTE networks.
But it seemed unlikely based on the comments made by Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.
“The first generation of LTE chip-sets force a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make”
At that time, Will Strauss, President of wireless chip tracker Forward Concepts pointed out that Apple is looking for a solution where chips support 4G and 3G on a single chip so that the 4G LTE iPhone is as thin or thinner than iPhone 4/iPhone 4S and it doesn’t consume too much battery life. According to Strauss, chipmakers like Qualcomm, ST Ericcson and Intel will launch the next generation chips that support 4G and 3G on a single chip towards the end of this year that would meet Apple’s requirement, which means that 5th generation iPhone won’t support 4G LTE network.
Strauss had also explained how Apple’s competitors have managed to launch smartphones with 4G support:
The only 4G handset on the market in the United States, Verizon’s Thunderbolt, currently relies on a pair of chips to work. One chip, from Samsung, communicates with Verizon’s 4G networks, allowing the handset to achieve blazing data speeds of between 5 and 20 MBPS. Another chip, from Qualcomm, lets the handset talk to Verizon’s 3G network.
That two chip solution is needed because Verizon’s 4G network isn’t widespread enough for the carriers to offer handsets that rely on 4G alone.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced availability of Gobi™ 4000, its latest addition to the Gobi family of embedded data connectivity platforms. Based on Qualcomm’s leading multimode 3G/4G wireless modems, the MDM9600™ and MDM9200™, and a common software interface (Gobi API) for connection management development, the Gobi 4000 platform allows customers to offer both LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO designs to meet the growing demand for embedded 3G/4G connectivity in mobile devices worldwide. […]
[…] Qualcomm’s latest Gobi-enabled 4G platform features the Gobi Application Programming Interface (API) with LTE extensions and is compatible with leading connectivity standards, including CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. A and B, HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, and LTE with integrated backwards compatibility to HSPA and EV-DO.
With complaints of poor battery life plaguing iPhone 4S, it remains to be seen how Apple plans to tackle the challenge of offering a 4G LTE iPhone with at least similar battery life as iPhone 4S or iPhone 4.