Apple iPad: 4G or Not 4G?

The big question about Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s event in San Francisco on Wednesday is whether it will see the launch of the first 4G-capable Long Term Evolution (LTE) iPad or not.

In typical inscrutable fashion, Apple has given no details ahead of the launch, merely sending out an invite that features a close-up of a finger on a touchscreen. This has led to rampant speculation about whether Apple is gearing up to launch the iPad 3 with LTE technology that can deliver downloads up to 10 times faster than with early 3G networks.

A future in 4G
The 4G wheels started turning when The Wall Street Journal reported that the next iPad will support the multi-megabit download wireless data technology. While others, like ITPortal, have turned out pictures sourced from a "Chinese website" that claims no LTE chipset.

LTE onboard would be good news for Verizon Wireless , as it has 195 4G markets active as opposed to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s 28 live cities. Conversely, another 3G update with no 4G onboard would likely benefit AT&T, as Apple would likely update the device so that it supports faster high-speed packet access (HSPA) technology, like the iPhone 4S on AT&T's network. (See iPhone Awards: Verizon's Reliable, AT&T's Fastest.)

Everything flows from LTE
By advancing the most popular tablet platform in the world, an LTE iPad is likely to change data usage patterns once again. Currently, notes Thomson Reuters , most people use Wi-Fi for their tablet connectivity. The wire service, however, suspects that an LTE iPad could boost mobile video viewing over carrier networks.

CBS News suggests that a sharper "Retina" display could also improve the user's viewing pleasure. In fact, some analysts and news organizations suggest that a new Apple tablet could actually be dubbed the iPad HD.

Stop me if you've heard this one before
None of these rumors are yet confirmed from any official sources and there has been plenty of speculation about an LTE iPad before that tuned out to be incorrect. Many expected an LTE iPad in late 2011, which never arrived. There have also been numerous rumors about an LTE iPhone that haven't resulted in a new smartphone yet.

Read more
Whatever arrives Wednesday, Apple has been working on LTE for eventual delivery:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:40:24 PM
re: Apple iPad: 4G or Not 4G?

People that are rushing to sell their iPad 2 right now could feel mighty silly tomorrow afternoon if the iPad doesn't arrive or is a letdown. Apple might hold off on LTE til AT&T gets more markets up, they've worked closely before. HSPA+, a HD screen and some new software we haven't though of would still get the fan boys and girls blood pumping for an iPad 2S.


Just sayin'


krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:40:18 PM
re: Apple iPad: 4G or Not 4G?

An LTE iPad would need to fall back to 3G anyway; even on the Verizon Wireless network.  Unless they are going to use a single baseband chip that supports all bands and all technologies, they would need to have a separate model for AT&T and Verizon Wireless anyway.  Add Sprint in and now they would need WiMax.  Not impossible but highly unlikely nonetheless.


Given the history of Apple, they would rather have faster 3G speeds and save LTE for the next model; give the sheeple a reason to upgrade.

wanlord 12/5/2012 | 5:40:17 PM
re: Apple iPad: 4G or Not 4G?

they just announced 4G Support. 

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:40:17 PM
re: Apple iPad: 4G or Not 4G? Yep, anyone seen any LTE plan pricing from carriers yet?
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