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Apple's New iPhones: No Gigabit LTE for You!

Dan Jones

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mobile World Congress Americas 2017 -- Apple's forthcoming iPhones don't support one of latest 4G upgrades now being talked up by US operators: Gigabit LTE.

Light Reading spoke to several people at the new MWC Americas show who said the vendor isn't implementing Gigabit LTE in the iPhone X and 8. (See Overpriced & Underwhelming, Apple's New iPhone Lacks X Factor.)

"Gigabit LTE" doesn't actually mean that the end user will get a 1Gbit/s down on their phone. A range of 100 Mbit/s to 300 Mbit/s is more likely on the shared medium of a 4G network. But that's still anything from three to ten times the speed of the janky old LTE phone you're probably still sporting, ya weirdo.

Unless that phone is a Samsung Galaxy S8, that is. Apple's main rival has Gigabit LTE support in the S8 and Note 8. As usual, the South Korean giant beats Apple in sheer networking firepower on its latest devices.

US carriers, meanwhile, have a few Gigabit LTE markets up and more coming soon. The lack of Gigabit LTE support in a major device release like the new iPhones, however, might cast a bit of a pall over the Gigabit LTE hype.

It is unlikely that Gigabit LTE will remain out in the cold with Apple forever, however. An intended part of the 5G spec is "dual connectivity," which involves a constant -- hopefully speedy -- LTE connection to buttress the anticipated high-speed yet short-range millimeter-wave connection. So, in the end, Gigabit LTE will be table stakes for 4G smartphones.

But not yet!

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
9/26/2017 | 12:54:46 PM
Re: Downlink 4CC and 256QAM, but not support 4x4MIMO, only 600Mbps
Yes, the marketing folks really have a way to tell us what we need or don't need but obscure lots of information in the process. What a word means depends on who's using the word.
User Rank: Light Beer
9/17/2017 | 5:17:10 AM
Apple's 4x4 MIMO support
I'm so confused?! GSMArena is listing it as Cat16 1024/150 Mbps handset.


Isn't there any confirmation from Apple's side?
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/16/2017 | 12:21:25 PM
Re: Downlink 4CC and 256QAM, but not support 4x4MIMO, only 600Mbps
Sounds like a bunch of marketing-speak to me. If it's not actually gigabit, then why call it Gigabit LTE? Doesn't make sense. 
User Rank: Blogger
9/15/2017 | 5:13:54 PM
Re: Downlink 4CC and 256QAM, but not support 4x4MIMO, only 600Mbps
You talking about the Intel modem, stats are in line with that as far as I know.
User Rank: Lightning
9/15/2017 | 5:10:42 AM
Downlink 4CC and 256QAM, but not support 4x4MIMO, only 600Mbps
Far behind Qualcomm, far behind ***
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/14/2017 | 5:35:39 PM
Re: Is it a resounding No for real?
What are we supposed to do with these current phones that can only support 30 Mbps downstream or so? I think I'll just throw mine away. :)
User Rank: Blogger
9/14/2017 | 2:26:22 PM
Re: Is it a resounding No for real?
Pretty certain that Gigabit LTE as we understand it is not supported. You might be thinking along the right lines in your other speculation. I can't say.... yet.
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/14/2017 | 1:40:32 PM
Is it a resounding No for real?
Hi Dan:

To continue from our discussion from the other thread (cited in your column) did you source(s) stay whether it is a 'no' for real or there is no mentioning it. On one hand, it seems to me there is no absolute confirmation until there is a teardown; on the other hand, Apple has been rather leaky of late, so maybe 'no' means 'no.'

The reason I brought this up is this: When iPhone 7 first came out, QCOM modem outperformed Intel's until Apple throttled the former back. Could it do the thing in reverse after Apple and QCOM come to terms.

A bit speculative but since we are all speculating :)
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