4G not plausible for iPhone 5 release: Revisited

By Posted 12 Jul 2011, 17:50

Last month Apple held their annual WWDC event, but this year didn’t reveal a new iPhone. There have been many reasons rumored why this was the case, but it is believed the next iPhone will now be arriving in September in some shape or form. There has been some speculation that the new iPhone will have 4G capability, but we have an article looking at why 4G is not plausible for iPhone 5 release.

One thing is for sure with the next iPhone is that it will be running iOS 5, that has some features that even the most hardened Android fan could appreciate. It is not known if the iPhone 5 will be able to support the 4G networks, but according to an article on Businessweek it could push the price of an iPhone up by 23.2 percent compared to the current iPhone 4.

A HTC Thunderbolt was recently taken apart by iSuppli, and it was from this teardown that the figure was worked out to. This is if Apple were to use the same network solution as HTC had taken with the Thunderbolt. The HTC handset contains separate chips for 3G and 4G radios that also drain the battery quicker than a chip which combines all the radios. Having more radios in the handset not only means more space is needed, it can also run hotter.

Since the iPhone first arrived Apple have been reducing the size of the circuit boards found in the iPhone, so wouldn’t want to suddenly increase them. Apple doesn’t usually add a new feature to hardware that isn’t fully developed, so it is unlikely to have LTE support in the next iPhone.

Another problem is that LTE networks are not yet available everywhere in the US yet, as the like of Verizon continue to push the service out. They currently have coverage in 75 areas with a figure of 145 expected by the end of the year. AT&T only expects to launch LTE in five areas during the summer, with a further ten by the end of 2011.

This will cover around seventy million people, but won’t warrant having an iPhone 4G just yet. Another problem is not all LTE networks across the world use the same 700 MHz frequency that AT&T and Verizon have for their networks.

Considering all this it may mean the next Apple smartphone taking the name of iPhone 4S, and when LTE gets a proper foothold we may see an iPhone 4GS. One thing that Apple also might not want is pushing the price of the handset up to much. They have said before that the iPhone shouldn’t only be for the rich, which has led to rumors of a more affordable handset being made available.

But what if Apple did delay the handset to work on getting a solution to having LTE support in their handset? To start with there will be a problem with enough network coverage, but this will improve as time goes on in the US at least.

Do you want to see the next iPhone to support 4G?

  • http://www.facebook.com/manmeetpaul Manmeet Paul

    What’s the point of 4G when 3G is faster?