TechCrunch is claiming that neither the Verizon iPhone (due out early 2011), nor the accustomed mid-year hardware update will support 4g networks like LTE. Instead, their sources say that it will have a dual CDMA/GSM chip, which wil be able to work across every network worldwide.
First things first — the iPhone CDMA model due in January won’t support LTE. But here’s where it gets really interesting: sources tell me that the iPhone refresh in mid-2011 won’t support LTE either. Instead, Apple will produce a dual mode iPhone containing 3G flavors of GSM and CDMA, which operates on all carriers worldwide. If this holds true, Apple won’t support the LTE standard until some time in 2012.
As Cheney points out, Apple was also slow to adopt 3g, and chose to wait until the technology fully matured to support it. It’s a tough choice for them, considering that there are already a few Android handsets that support 4g on Sprint. The next-gen chips can also destroy your battery life, which is one of the iPhone’s strong points, so waiting until the technology advances may be a good call. Plus, the chances of your area even having LTE are pretty slim – AT&T doesn’t even plan to start their rollout until halfway into next year.
There are pros and cons either way you spin it, but Apple tends to hold off on implementing half-baked features until they can be successfully implemented, for example FaceTime and copy/paste. Apple may be pressured by the competition to change their plans, so there is no knowing what will happen. More rumors and leaks are sure to crop up in the months to come, so stay tuned.