According to analyst Peter Misek with Jefferies & Co, the next iPhone will not have LTE (next-generation Long Term Evolution) when it is released this September on more carriers.
Misek wrote in a research note:
According to our industry checks, the device should be called iPhone 4S and include minor cosmetic changes, better cameras, A5 dual-core processor, and HSPA+ support.
This report matches most of the “iPhone 5” rumors we’ve been hearing. It also lends credence to the story about the high profile game developer who is using a prototype deemed the iPhone 4S.
T-Mobile USA and Sprint will be added to the fray, joining AT&T and Verizon as iPhone carriers in the US. This will put Apple on every major carrier in America and should be good news for increasing their market share. Speaking of good news, Misek notes that China Mobile will be offering the iPhone 4S in the next 12 months, which would reach a whopping 600 million potential customers.
HSPA+, 4G, LTE: What’s in a name?
T-Mobile started offering their ramped up HSPA+ network with 42Mbps down in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando earlier this year, with plans to have 25 major markets covered by the end of 2011. Meanwhile, AT&T has rolled out HSPA+ to select cities and is adding more all the time (click coverage map). Unfortunately, US carriers have incorrectly marketeted HSPA+, a bridge standard, as LTE. Verizon has deployed LTE in 38 US cities and Sprint is using WiMax for its 4G strategy so it is unknown what is in store for the iPhone 4S on those networks since it will not employ LTE. If you are as confused about all of this as we are, head over to Computerworld for a good overview of 4G, LTE, and WiMax.
Rather than get caught up in the LTE/4G misnomers, Apple is holding off the release of “iPhone 4G” until all of the carriers get on the same page. Misek’s assessment of Apple evolving to the iPhone 4S with processor and wireless speed bumps as well as an improved camera seems very likely.
Can we all start using the name iPhone 4S now?
Read our iPhone 5 coverage here.