If you watch one of those controversial Samsung TV ads, the commercial mocks the iPhone for not getting 4G LTE support until now. While, yes, the iPhone is indeed late to the show with 4G LTE connectivity, Apple released the iPhone 5 at the perfect time. There is absolutely no point in releasing an iPhone that supports LTE networks when that infrastructure was barely in place until now.
Over the past year, AT&T and Verizon Wireless have been working tirelessly to expand their 4G LTE coverage into new markets across the United States. AT&T expanded its LTE network to 12 new markets earlier this year, brought coverage to another three cities in May, lit up the eastern seaboard in July, blanketed an additional nine markets with 4G LTE earlier this month and most recently rolled out its 4G LTE network to several large cities.
Verizon Wireless introduced 4G LTE to 27 new markets last April, 28 additional markets the following month, another 33 markets in July and to a number of smaller areas just recently. Sprint too has rapidly increased its 4G LTE network coverage, just recently announcing its expansion into 100 new markets in the United States.
Apple could have easily released an iPhone with LTE in the past had it felt necessary; however, the company does not want to please a minor segment of its customers by releasing technology that, over the past year or so, was largely off hands to American consumers. Now that 4G LTE is becoming more prominent and readily available, the iPhone 5 makes sense.