HSPA+ Could Still Be in Apple's Future

5:00 PM I still think an LTE iPhone will happen in 2012 rather than 2011

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

June 8, 2010

1 Min Read
HSPA+ Could Still Be in Apple's Future

5:00 PM -- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) didn't do a HSPA+ upgrade for its latest iPhone, but that doesn't mean that a faster 3G upgrade isn't in the cards for the iconic device in the future.

Apple doesn't typically live on the cutting edge of cellular capabilities -- its first iPhone didn't even support 3G GSM. The design, interface, and applications are what makes the iPhone a top seller, rather than the geeky data rates. The firm will have to look at making the jump to HSPA+ with its next generation of phones and possibly even try and get to Long Term Evolution proto-4G technology too.

This is happening behind the scenes now. Recall that Apple was advertising a position for a "Cellular Technology Software Manager" back in March and wanted someone familiar with 21-Mbit/s HSPA+ and LTE, according to Electronista.

This suggests that at some point, maybe in 2011, Apple will be able to support AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s 14.4-Mbit/s 3G upgrade and 21-Mbit/s upgrades from other international GSM carriers. The 21-Mbit/s upgrade to high-speed packet access 3G is the fastest that can be got out of the technology without adding additional antennas to the handset and base stations.

I still think 2012 is a much more likely date for an LTE update. AT&T's LTE deployment will be gathering steam in 2012, and Verizon Wireless has said that it might start offering voice-over-LTE in that year (so, Apple wouldn't have to deal with dual-mode LTE and CDMA). Waiting until 2012 for an LTE iPhone gives Apple a much wider market to sell a phone to, both here and abroad.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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