iPhone 5 Arrives With 4G LTE

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is finally delivering a smartphone with true 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) onboard as it unveiled the iPhone 5 in San Francisco Wednesday.

4G LTE will make uploads and downloads on the new phone several times faster than the 3G service users previously got with the iPhone. It may also help motivate more LTE city launches in the U.S. and beyond. (See What We Mean When We Say '4G'.)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will get the new LTE iPhone in the U.S. It had been unclear if Sprint would get the new device since it has only just recently launched its first 19 LTE towns and cities, although it expects to top 100 markets by the end of the year. (See Sprint: LTE in 100 Cities in the 'Coming Months'.)

Around the globe, Apple will launch the 4G phone in Asia, Canada and Europe. Carriers will include EE in the UK, KDDI Corp. in Japan and Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. (NYSE: RCN; Toronto: RCM) in Canada, amongst others.

"This is the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since the iPhone," Apple CEO Tim Cook was quoted as saying about the launch by The Verge.

Other key features in the phone include:

  • A redesigned 4-inch display with touch sensors in the screen.
  • A new A6 processor with a 2x performance bump, according to Apple.
  • An updated iOS 6 operating system.
  • Apple's own mapping software with 3D and satellite views and turn-by-turn directions.
  • A redesigned, smaller connector for charging, so that Apple can slim down the phone's case even more.
  • An 8-megapixel back-mounted camera.
  • A front-mounted HD video camera for FaceTime chat, which should now be widely available over cellular networks.

The new phones will cost $199 with a contract for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. The 16GB iPhone 4S drops to $99 and the iPhone 4 is now free with a contract.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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