IHS iSuppli Expects LTE iPhone in 2012 ... or 2013

IHS iSuppli analyzes iPhone 4S announcement

October 5, 2011

1 Min Read

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Defying some expectations that Apple today would introduce the iPhone 5—an entirely new model supporting 4G—the company instead rolled out the iPhone 4S, an incremental update of the existing iPhone 4. This confirms the IHS outlook issued in July that the new iPhone introduced by Apple in 2011 likely would not include the next-generation 4G technology known as Long Term Evolution (LTE). IHS continues to expect that Apple will introduce an LTE-capable iPhone 5 when an affordable chipset solution allowing a thinner form factor is available. The iPhone 5 most likely will arrive in late 2012, or in mid-2013.

Given the success of the iPhone 4, Apple’s incremental approach to upgrading the line makes sense. Furthermore, with the speeds the iPhone has attained with the existing 3G standard known as High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), there is no appreciable benefit to adopting LTE, especially given the current spectrum and uplink speed constraints for LTE.

“As Apple always does, the company selected features for the iPhone 4 that are designed to deliver a superior customer experience, rather than to provide technology for technology’s sake,” said Francis Sideco, senior principal analyst, wireless communications, for IHS. “Because of this, Apple declined to offer an LTE-enabled iPhone that would have been more expensive, larger and more power hungry—and instead opted to introduce a device that delivers nearly the same wireless data speed, but with a superior user experience.”

IHS iSuppli

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