Apple will now be under pressure to deliver an LTE-compatible phone for both AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon sooner rather than later. That was obvious even from repeated questions about LTE at the press conference launch of the CDMA iPhone today.
Apple basically has three options:
- Deliver an all-in-one phone that runs CDMA, GSM and LTE sometime this year. The phone would need to support the older technology to allow voice calls on the carrier networks. Battery life is likely to be an issue.
- Make two separate models in 2011 that support GSM/LTE and CDMA/LTE respectively. The carriers might dig this option as it pretty much keeps subscribers locked to their respective 3G networks.
- Wait for voice-over-LTE support and make an LTE-only phone that could -- in theory -- run over both AT&T and Verizon's 700MHz LTE footprints. This would likely mean an LTE launch for the iPhone in 2012 or maybe even 2013
With LTE Android phones now due in months rather than years will Apple wait that long?
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile